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At the beginning of October, when the battle of 
the Aisne had subsided into siege operations, the 
British troops were entrenched upon the line of 
the Aisne, between Soissons and Villers. On their 
left were French armies whose front extended in 
a curve from Soissons through Roye and Albert to 
a point some miles north of Arras. The German 
right extended equally far to the north, in a curve 
which passed west of Douai, Peronne, and Noyon. 
In the rear of the German right a strong German 
force was besieging Antwerp, and the situation of 
the defenders was becoming critical, since both in 
numbers and in weight of guns they were decidedly 
inferior to their assailants. It was only to be 
expected that, when Antwerp had fallen, the 
besieging army would be pushed forward on the 
German right to undertake an outflanking move- 
ment, and to cut off the Allies from the Channel 

Under these circumstances the British naval and 
military authorities resolved to throw whatever 
land-forces were available into the northern theatre 
of operations. The Admiralty dispatched to Ant- 
werp two Naval Brigades and one Brigade of 
Marines, which arrived on the night of October 3-4 ; 
the War Office sent over the Fourth Corps, under 
Sir Henry Rawlinson, to keep open the line of 


retreat from Antwerp to the Yser ; and Sir John 
French obtained permission from General Joffre to 
transfer his three Army Corps to the extreme left of 
the Allied line. 

The adventures of the Naval and Marine Brigades 
are described in the dispatch of Major-General Paris 
(Appendix). They were in Antwerp for less than 
a week ; a large number of their men crossed the 
Dutch frontier on the night of October 8-9, in the 
course of the retreat, and were interned by order of 
the Dutch Government. Sir John French is, how- 
ever, of opinion that this force delayed the enemy 
for a considerable time ; and, if that opinion is 
correct, the mission of Major-General Paris was 
strategically justifiable. The fall of Antwerp oc- 
curred at a critical moment, when the three Army 
Corps which had been on the Aisne were in transit 
to their new base at St. Omer. It was essential 
that the advance of the German force from Antwerp 
should be delayed until the main body of the 
British Expeditionary Force was in position to 
receive them. But obviously much more was done 
to retard the German advance by the retreating 
Belgian army, by the French Territorials who were 
pushed forward for this purpose to Ypres and 
Poperinghe, and by the Fourth Army Corps operating 
near Antwerp and Ghent. To the gallantry of the 
Fourth Army Corps and its commander we may 
fairly give the chief credit for the fact that the 
German army of Antwerp, a week after the fall of 
the city, found itself at a standstill to the east of 
Ypres and Nieuport. The exhausted Belgian army 


was relieved, on the line of the Yser, by French 
forces ; but further to the south, in the gap between 
the Yser and the Lys, the main burden of defence 
fell upon the British Fourth Corps, which was already 
decimated by heavy fighting. Through this gap 
the Germans hop^d to advance upon Calais and 
Boulogne ; but for four days Sir Henry Rawlinson 
and the forces under his command succeeded in 
holding an improvised line of defence against greatly 
superior forces. The Fourth Corps was posted on 
the line Zonnebeke-Gheluvelt-Zandvoorde, and this 
line they successfully held. Sir Henry Rawlinson 
was instructed to advance, if possible, to Menin — a 
position six and a half miles from the centre of his 
front — ^in order to hold the passage of the Lys at 
that point. If he had succeeded in doing this, it 
would have been very difficult for the German troops 
advancing from Antwerp to co-operate with the 
right wing of the main German force, which had 
now been extended from Douai to Lille and Roubaix. 
But the requisite effort was found impossible. The 
Fourth Corps had been already taxed almost beyond 
the limits of human endurance, and it was only able 
to hold its ground on the Hne originally selected by 
Sir Henry Rawlinson. 

The order to take Menin was issued on October 17. 
By this time the removal of the First, Second, and 
Third Army Corps from the Aisne was almost com- 
pleted. They were removed by train from Soissons 
to St. Omer. The French left extended to the 
village of Annequin, midway between Bethune 
and La Bassee and south of the La Bassee Canal. 


The Expeditionary Force was directed to move 
eastward from St. Omer. The French armies south 
of Annequin were to operate similarly eastward, 
keeping pace with the British troops on their left. 

The work of detrainment was smoothly accom- 
plished. The Second Army Corps, under Sir Horace 
Smith-Dorrien, was the first to arrive and moved 
south-east from St. Omer, until it came (October 11) 
into touch with the French left. Smith-Dorrien was 
directed to advance south of the river Lys in the 
direction of La Bassee, where the troops of the 
extreme German right were entrenched. His corps 
was to pivot upon Givenchy, to the west of La 
Bassee, so as to envelop the German right from the 
north and east. But it was sharply checked at an 
early stage of the turning movement, and on the 
night of October 23 retired to the line Givenchy — 
Fauquissart ; here it remained, terribly exhausted by 
enormous losses. Its orders were, after October 20, 
to act on the defensive. Though reinforced on the 
19th and the 20th by Indian troops, which did splen- 
did service, it was always outnumbered. 

The Third Army Corps, under General Pulteney, 
was instructed to act on the left of the Second 
Army Corps. It reached Hazebrouck from St. 
Omer on October 12 and it then proceeded to move 
in the direction of Armentieres, following the line 
of the main road through Bailleul. On its right, 
acting as a link of connexion with the Second Corps, 
was the French Cavalry Corps of General Conneau. 
Although operating in enclosed and rain-sodden 
country, General Pulteney moved forward rapidly, 


driving in the cavalry outposts of the enemy ; he 
carried the line of the river Lys, to the west of 
Armentieres, on October 15. On the three following 
days he advanced to and beyond Armentieres with 
his forces astride of the river. His orders were to 
proceed down the valley of the Lys ; but on Octo- 
ber 18, finding that the German troops in front of 
him had been considerably reinforced, he came to 
a stand on a line which extended from Le Gheir 
and east of Armentieres to a point due west of LiUe. 
On this line General Pulteney held his own in spite 
of severe counter-attacks ; like Sir Horace Smith- 
Dorrien, he had been ordered to stand on the defen- 
sive ; and his resources were strained to the utmost 
in the last eleven days of October. Sir John French 
considers that the work of this Corps, operating on 
an extended front which showed many weak points, 
was ' beyond all praise '. 

Before October 19 the outflanking movements of 
the Third and Second Corps had been parried by the 
rapid lengthening of the German line. On that day it 
became apparent that these corps were themselves 
in danger of being outflanked by an advance of the 
enemy through Ypres, where the Fourth Corps was 
barely holding its own. It is clear that, though 
Sir John French divined the enemy's true intention, 
he was not fully informed as to the strength of the 
German forces which were being concentrated 
against Ypres. He instructed Sir Douglas Haig, 
the commander of the First Corps, which had just 
detrained at St. Omer, to advance to the north-east 
of Ypres and to operate on the left of the Fourth 


Corps ; the direction indicated was Thourout, and 
the ultimate object of the advance was the recapture 
of Bruges and Ghent. Sir Douglas Haig moved 
forward rapidly, and on October 21 was established 
north-east of Ypres. But he was immediately 
threatened with a flank attack from the north ; and 
he found that the remnants of the Fourth Corps 
were in no condition to support an advance. It was 
perhaps as well that he remained on the defensive ; 
for on October 29, 30, and 31 the British troops 
east of Ypres were exposed to attacks of unprece- 
dented severity. On the last of these three days 
the attack was executed by no less than three 
German Army Corps, who had been ordered by the 
Emperor to break through at all costs. 

The story of these days is briefly told in the dis- 
patch. They were as critical as the worst days of 
the retreat from Mons. The main burden of the 
dsfence fell upon the reconstituted First Corps, 
with which the Fourth Corps was amalgamated, by 
order of Sir John French, on October 27. Both on 
the 30th and on the 31st the enemy gained initial 
successes which might have induced a less stout- 
hearted commander than Sir Douglas Haig to order 
a general retirement ; and, if the First Corps had 
given way, a general debacle of the Expeditionary 
Force would almost certainly have followed. The 
crisis was surraounted on October 31, the decisive 
factor being the recapture of Gheluvelt by the First 
Division. It was a brilliant feat of arms, accom- 
plished after the Division had once been forced to 
retire. The 2nd Worcestershire Regiment are men- 


tioned by Sir John French for their share in this 

The tenth section of the dispatch refers briefly to 
the operations of November 1 — November 12, when 
a fresh series of assaults was delivered by the 
Germans against the First Corps on the British left. 
It is not clear why this period is so summarily dealt 
with ; and one is disappointed to find that the nar- 
rative breaks off before the battle of November 15, 
when the Prussian Guard made their advance. It 
will be noted that Sir John French considers the 
situation on November 15 to have been even more 
critical than that of October 31, when everything 
depended on the recapture of Gheluvelt. 

Sir John French calls special attention to the 
unparalleled feat of the Cavalry Corps in holding 
a long line of trenches against two German Army 
Corps for forty-eight hours ; to the extraordinary 
powers of endurance shown by the Third Corps under 
General Pulteney in defending an extremely extended 
line ; and to the excellent work of the Indian Corps 
round Ypres and in the zone of the Second British 
Corps. It was in this battle that the Indian troops 
had the first opportunity of proving their efficiency ; 
and it will be noticed that they are highly commended 
by Sir John French. 

Clearly the battle made exceptional demands on 
the endurance of the individual and on the resource 
of subordinate commanders. Sir John French has 
occasion to praise many officers and a number of 
regiments. But it will be long before we know the 
full details of the heroic achievements with which 

A 2 


the last fortnight of October, 1914, was crowded. 
We are left with the impression that the enemy 
possessed the advantage in mobility, in accurate 
information, in unity of control, and above all in 
numbers ; but that the marvellous discipline of the 
British infantry, the accuracy of the British artillery 
and rifle fire, and the doggedness of the British general 
officers, retrieved a situation which an umpire in 
manoeuvres would have declared to be hopeless. 
Undoubtedly the Expeditionary Force owed much 
to the support of General Conneau's cavalry and of 
the 9th French Corps. How much, we shall perhaps 
learn in more detail^at some later date. 

H. W. C. D. 


War Office, November 2Uh, 1914. 

The following despatch has been received by the 
Secretary of State for War from the Field-Marshal 
Commanding-in-Chief , British Forces in the Field : — 

Greneral Headquarters, 

20th November, 1914. 
My Lord, — 

1. I have the honour to submit a further despatch 
recounting the operations of the Field Force under 
my command throughout the battle of Ypres- 

Removal from the Aisne 

Early in October a study of the general situation 
strongly impressed me with the necessity of bring- 
ing the greatest possible force to bear in support 
of the northern flank of the Allies, in order to 
effectively outflank the enemy and compel him to 
evacuate his positions. 

At the same time the position on the Aisne, as 
described in the concluding paragraphs of my last 
despatch, appeared to me to warrant a withdrawal 
of the British Forces from the positions they then 

The enemy had been weakened by continual 


abortive and futile attacks, whilst the fortification 
of the position had been much improved. 

I represented these views to General Joffre, who 
fully agreed. 

Arrangements for withdrawal and relief having 
been made by the French General Staff, the opera- 
tion commenced on the 3rd October ; and the 2nd 
Cavalry Division, under General Gough, marched 
for Compiegne en route for the new theatre. 

The Army Corps followed in succession at intervals 
of a few days, and the move was completed on the 
19th October, when the First Corps, under Sir 
Douglas Haig, completed its detrainment at St. Omer. 

That this delicate operation was carried out so 
successfully is in great measure due to the excellent 
feeling which exists between the French and British 
Armies ; and I am deeply indebted to the Com- 
mander-in-Chief and the French General Staff for 
their cordial and most effective co-operation. 

New Plan of Operations 

As General Foch was appointed by the Commander- 
in-Chief to supervise the operations of all the French 
troops north of Noyon, I visited his headquarters 
at DouUens on 8th October and arranged joint plans 
of operations as follows : — 

The Second Corps to arrive on the line Aire- 
Bethune on the 1 1th October, to connect with the 
right of the French 10th Army and, pivoting on 
its left, to attack in flank the enemy who were 
opposing the 10th French Corps in front. 


The Cavalry to move on the northern flank of 
the Second Corps and support its attack until the 
Third Corps, which was to detrain at St. Omer 
on the 12th 5 should come up. They were then 
to clear the front and act on the northern flank 
of the Third Corps in a similar manner, pending 
the arrival of the First Corps from the Aisne. 

The 3rd Cavalry Division and 7th Division, 
under Sir Henry Rawlinson, which were then 
operating in support of the Belgian Army and 
assisting its withdrawal from Antwerp, to be 
ordered to co-operate as soon as circumstances 
would allow. 

In the event of these movements so far over- 
coming the resistance of the enemy as to enable 
a forward movement to be made, all the Allied 
Forces to march in an easterly direction. The 
road running from Bethune to Lille was to be the 
dividing line between the British and French 
Forces, the right of the British Army being directed 
on Lflle. 

Operations of the Second Army Corps, 
October 11 — October 31 

2. The great battle, which is mainly the subject 
of this despatch, may be said to have commenced 
on October 11th, on which date the 2nd Cavalry 
Division, under General Gough, first came into 
contact with the enemy's cavalry who were holding 
some woods to the north of the Bethune-Aire Canal. 
These were cleared of the enemy by our cavalry, 



which then joined hands with the Divisional Cavalry 
of the 6th Division in the neighbourhood of Haze- 
brouck. On the same day the right of the 2nd 
Cavalry Division connected with the left of the 
Second Corps, which was moving in a north-easterly 
direction after crossing the above-mentioned canal. 

By the 11th October Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien 
had reached the line of the canal between Aire and 
Bethune. I directed him to continue his march 
on the 12th, bringing up his left in the direction of 
Merville. Then he was to move East to the line 
Laventie-Lorgies, which would bring him on the 
immediate left of the French Army and threaten 
the German flank. 

On the 12th this movement was commenced. 
The 5th Division connected up with the left of the 
French Army north of Annequin! They moved to 
the attack of the Germans who were engaged at 
this point with the French ; but the enemy once 
more extended his right in some strength to meet 
the threat against his flank. The 3rd Division, 
having crossed the canal, deployed on the left of 
the 5th ; and the whole Second Corps again ad- 
vanced to the attack, but were unable to make 
much headway owing to the difficult character of 
the ground upon which they were operating, which 
was similar to that usually found in manufacturing 
districts and was covered with mining works, fac- 
tories, buildings, etc. The ground throughout this 
country is remarkably flat, rendering effective artil- 
lery support very difficult. 

Before nightfall, however, they had made some 


advance and had successfully driven back hostile 
counter-attacks with great loss to the enemy and 
destruction of some of his machine guns. 

On and after the 13th October the object of the 
General Officer Commanding the Second Corps was 
to wheel to his right, pivoting on Givenchy to get 
astride the La Bassee-Lille road in the neighbour- 
Jiood of Fournes. so as to threaten the right flank 
and rear of the enemy's position on the high ground 
south of La Bassee. 

This position of La Bassee has throughout the 
battle defied all attempts at capture, either by the 
French or the British. 

On this day Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien could make 
but little progress. He particularly mentions the 
fine fighting of the Dorset s, whose Commanding 
Officer, Major Roper, was killed. They suffered 
no less than 400 casualties, 130 of them being killed, 
but maintained all day their hold on Pont Fixe. 
He also refers to the gallantry of the Artillery. 

The fighting of the Second Corps continued 
throughout the 14th in the same direction. On 
this day the Army suffered a great loss, in that the 
Commander of the 3rd Division, Greneral Hubert 
Hamilton, was killed. 

On: the 15th the 3rd Division fought splendidly, 
crossing the dykes, with which this country is inter- 
sected, with planks ; and driving the enemy from 
one entrenched position to another in loop-holed 
villages, till at night they pushed the Germans off 
the Estaires-La Bassee road, and establishing them- 
selves on the line Pont de Ham-Croix Barbee. 


On the 16th the move was continued until the 
left flank of the Corps was in front of the village of 
Aubers, which was strongly held. This village was 
captured on the 17th by the 9th Infantry Brigade ; 
and at dark on the same day the Lincolns and 
Royal Fusiliers carried the village of Herhes at the 
point of the bayonet after a fine attack, t he Brigade 
being handled with great dash by Brigadier-General 

At this time, to the best of our information, the 
Second Corps were believed to be opposed by the 
2nd, 4th,, and 9th German Cavalry Divisions, 
supported by several battalions of Jaegers and 
a part of the 14th German Corps. 

On the 18th powerful counter-attacks were made 
by the enemy all along the front of the Second Corps, 
and were most gallantly repulsed ; but only slight 
progress could be made. 

From the 19th to the 31st October the Second 
Corps carried on a most gallant fight in defence 
of their position against very superior numbers, the 
enemy having been reinforced during that time b}^ 
at least one Division of the 7th Corps, a brigade 
of the 3rd Corps, and the whole of the 14th Corps, 
which had moved north from in front of the French 
21st Corps. 

On the 19th the Royal Irish Regiment, under 
Major Daniell, stormed and carried the village of 
Le Pilly, which they held and entrenched. On the 
20th, however, they were cut off and surrounded, 
suffering heavy losses. 

On the morning of the 22nd the enemy made 


a very determined attack on the 5th Division, who 
were driven out of the village of Violaines, but they 
were sharply counter-attacked by the Worcesters 
and Manchesters, and prevented from coming on. 

The left of the Second Corps being now somewhat 
exposed, Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien withdrew the 
Hne during the night to a position he had previously 
prepared, running generally from the eastern side 
of Givenchy, east of Neuve Chapelle to Fauquissart. 

On the 24th October the Lahore Division of the 
Indian Army Corps, under Major-General Watkis, 
having arrived, I sent them to the neighbourhood 
of Lacon to support the Second Corps. 

Very early on this morning the enemy commenced 
a heavy attack, but, owing to the skiKul manner 
in which the artillery was handled and the targets 
presented by the enemy's infantry as it approached, 
they were unable to come to close quarters. To- 
wards the evening a heavy attack developed against 
the 7th Brigade, which was repulsed, with very 
heavy loss to the enemy, by the Wiltshires and the 
Royal West Kents. Later, a determined attack 
on the 18th Infantry Brigade drove the Gordon 
Highlanders out of their trenches, which were re- 
taken by the Middlesex Regiment, gallantly led by 
Lieutenant-Colonel HuU. 

The 8th Infantry Brigade (which had come into 
line on the left of the Second Corps) was also heavily 
attacked, but the enemy was driven off. 

In both these cases the Germans lost very heavily^ 
and left large numbers of dead and prisoners behind 



The Second Corps was now becoming exhausted, 
owing to the constant reinforcements of the enemy, 
the length of line which it had to defend, and the 
enormous losses which it had suffered. 

Operations of Third Army Corps, 
October 13— October 18 

3. By the Evening of the 11th October the Third 
Corps had practically completed its detrainment at 
St. Omer, and was moved east to Hazebrouck, 
where the Corps remained throughout the 12th. 

On the morning of the 13th the advanced guard 
of the Corps, consisting of the 19th Infantry Brigade 
and a Brigade of Field Artillery, occupied the position 
of the Hne Strazeele Station-Caestre-St. Sylvestre. 

On this day I directed General Pulteney to move 
towards the line Armentieres-Wytschaete ; warning 
him, however, that should the Second Corps require 
his aid he must be prepared to move south-east to 
support it. 

A French Cavalry Corps under General Conneau 
was operating between the Second and Third Corps. 

The Fourth German Cavalry Corps, supported by 
some Jaeger Battalions, was known to be occupying 
the position in the neighbourhood of Meteren ; and 
they were beUeved to be further supported by the 
advanced guard of another German Army Corps. 

In pursuance of his orders, General Pulteney pro- 
ceeded to attack the enemy in his front. 

The rain and fog which prevailed prevented full 
advantage being derived from our much superior 


artillery. The country was very much enclosed and 
rendered difficult by heavy rain. 

The enemy were, however, routed ; and the posi- 
tion taken at dark, several prisoners being captured. 

During the night the Third Corps made good the 
attacked position and entrenched it. 

As Bailleul was known to be occupied by the 
enemy, arrangements were made during the night 
to attack it ; but reconnaissances sent out on the 
morning of the 14th showed that they had with- 
drawn, and the town was taken by our troops at 
10 a.m. on that day, many wounded Germans being 
found and taken in it. 

The Corps then occupied the line St. Jans Cappel- 

On the morning of the 15th the Third Corps were 
ordered to make good the line of the Lys from 
Armentieres to Sailly, which, in the face of con- 
siderable opposition and very foggy weather, they 
succeeded in doing, the 6th Division at Sailly-Bac 
St. Maur and the 4th Division at Nieppe. 

The enemy in its front having retired, the Third 
Corps on the night of the 17th occupied the line 
Bois Grenier-Le Gheir. 

On the 18th the enemy were holding a line from 
Radinghem on the south, through Perenchies and 
Frelinghien on the north, whence the German troops 
which were opposing the Cavalry Corps occupied 
the east bank of the river as far as Wervick. 

On this day I directed the Third Corps to move 
down the valley of the Lys and endeavour to assist 
the Cavalry Corps in making good its position on 


the right bank. To do this it was necessary first to 
drive the enemy eastward towards Lille. A vigorous 
offensive in the direction of Lille was assumed, but 
the enemy was found to have been considerably 
reinforced, and but little progress was made. 

The situation of the Third Corps on the night of 
the 18th was as follows : 

The 6th Division was holding the line Radinghem- 
La Vallee-Emnetieres-Capinghem-Premesques-Rail- 
way Line 300 yards east of Halte. The 4th Division 
were holding the line from L'Epinette to the river 
at a point 400 yards south of Frelinghein, and thence 
to a point half a mile south-east of Le Gheir. The 
Corps Reserve was at Armentieres Station, with 
right and left flanks of Corps in close touch with 
French Cavalry and the Cavalry Corps. 

Since the advance from Bailleul the enemy's 
forces in front of the Cavalry and Third Corps had 
been strongly reinforced, and on the night of the 
17th they were opposed by three or four divisions 
of the enemy's cavalry, the 19th Saxon Corps, and 
at least one division of the 7th Corps. Reinforce- 
ments for the enemy were known to be coming up 
from the direction of Lille. 

Operations of Cavalry Corps, October 11— 
October 19 

4. Following the movements completed on the 
11th October, the 2nd Cavalry Division pushed the 
enemy back through Fletre and Le Coq de Faille, 
and took Mont des Cats, just before dark, after stiff 


On the 14th the 1st Cavalry Division joined up, 
and the whole Cavalry Corps under General AUenby, 
moving north, secured the high ground above 
Berthen, overcoming considerable opposition. 

With a view to a further advance east, I ordered 
General AUenby, on the 15th, to reconnoitre the 
line of the River Lys, and endeavour to secure the 
passages on the opposite bank, pending the arrival 
of the Third and Fourth Corps. 

During the 15th and 16th this reconnaissance 
was most skiKuUy and energetically carried out in 
the face of great opposition, especially along the 
lower line of the river. 

These operations were continued throughout the 
17th, 18th, and 19th; but, although valuable in- 
formation was gained, and strong forces of the 
enemy held in check, the Cavalry Corps was unable 
to secure passages or to establish a permanent 
footing on the eastern bank of the river. 

Operations of Fourth Army Corps, 
October 16— October 20 

5. At this point in the history of the operations 
under report it is necessary that I should return 
to the co-operation of the forces operating in the 
neighbourhood of Ghent and Antwerp under Lieu- 
tenant-General Sir Henry Rawlinson, as the action 
of his force about this period exercised, in my 
opinion, a great influence on the course of the subse- 
quent operations. 

This force, consisting of the 3rd Cavalry Division, 


under Major-General the Hon. Julian Byng, and 
the 7th Division, under Major-General Capper, was 
placed under my orders by telegraphic instructions 
from your Lordship. 

On receipt of these instructions I directed Sir 
Henry Rawlinson to continue his operations in 
covering and protecting the withdrawal of the 
Belgian Army, and subsequently to form the left 
column in the eastward advance of the British 
Forces. These withdrawal operations were con- 
cluded about the 16th October, on which date the 
7th Division was posted to the east of Ypres on 
a line extending from Zandvoorde through Ghelu- 
velt to Zonnebeke. The 3rd Cavalry Division was 
on its left towards Langemarck and Poelcappelle. 

In this position Sir Henry Rawlinson was sup- 
ported by the 87th French Territorial Division in 
Ypres and Vlamertinghe, and by the 89th French 
Territorial Division at Poperinghe. 

On the night of the 16th I informed Sir Henry 
Rawlinson of the operations which were in progress 
by the Cavalry Corps and the Third Corps, and 
ordered him to conform to those movements in an 
easterly direction, keeping an eye always to any 
threat which might be made against him from the 

A very difficult task was allotted to Sir Henry 
Rawlinson and his command. Owing to the impor- 
tance of keeping possession of all the ground towards 
the north which we already held, it was necessary 
for him to operate on a very wide front, and, until 
the arrival of the First Corps in the northern theatre 


—which I expected about the 20th — I had no troops 
available with which to support or reinforce him. 

Although on this extended front he had even- 
tually to encounter very superior forces, his troops, 
both Cavalry and Infantry, fought with the utmost 
gallantry, and rendered very signal service. 

On the 17th four French Cavalry Divisions de- 
ployed on the left of the 3rd Cavalry Division, and 
drove back advanced parties of the enemy beyond 
the Foret d'Houthulst. 

As described above, instructions for a vigorous 
attempt to establish the British Forces east of the 
Lys were given on the night of the 17th to the Second, 
Third, and Cavalry Corps. 

Failure to occupy Menin 

I considered, however, that the possession of 
Menin constituted a very important point of passage, 
and would much facilitate the advance of the rest 
of the Army. So I directed the General Officer 
Commanding the Fourth Corps to advance the 7th 
Division upon Menin, and endeavour to seize that 
crossing on the morning of the 18th. 

The left of the 7th Division was to be supported 
by the 3rd Cavalry Brigade,, and further north by 
the French Cavalry in th,e neighbourhood of R-oulers. 

Sir Henry Rawlinson represented to me that 
large hostile forces were advancing upon him from 
the east and north-east, and that his left flank was 
severely threatened. 

I was aware of the threats from that direction, 


but hoped that at this particular time there was 
no greater force coming from the north-east than 
could be held off by the combined efforts of the 
French and British Cavalry, and the Territorial 
troops supporting them, until the passage at Menin 
could be seized and the First Corps brought up in 

Sir Henry Rawlinson probably exercised a wise 
judgement in not committing his troops to this 
attack in their somewhat weakened condition ; but 
the result was that the enemy's. continued possession 
of the passage at Menin certainly facilitated his rapid 
reinforcement of his troops and thus rendered any 
further advance impracticable. 

On the morning of the 20th October the 7th 
Division and 3rd Cavalry Division had retired to 
their old position extending from Zandvoorde through 
Kruiseik and Gheluvelt to Zonnebeke. 

The Situation on October 19 

6. On the 1 9th October the First Corpg, coming 
from the Aisne, had completed its detrainment and 
was concentrated between St. Omer and Haze- 

A question of vital importance now arose for 

I knew that the enemy were by this time in 
greatly superior strength on the Lys, and that the 
Second, Third, Cavalry and Fourth Corps were 
holding a much wider front than their numbers and 
strength warranted. 


Taking these facts alone into consideration it 
would have appeared wise to throw the First Corps 
in to strengthen the line ; but this would have left 
the country north and east of Ypres and the Ypres 
Canal open to a wide turning movement by the 
3rd Reserve Corps and at least one Landwehr Divi- 
sion which I knew to be operating in that region. 
I was also aware that the enemy was bringing large 
reinforcements up from the east which could only 
be opposed for several days by two or three French 
Cavalry Divisions, some French Territorial troops, 
and the Belgian Army. 

After the hard fighting it had undergone the 
Belgian Army was in no condition to withstand, 
unsupported, such an attack ; and unless some sub- 
stantial resistance could be offered to this threatened 
turning movement, the Allied flank must be turned 
and the Channel Ports laid bare to the enemy. 

First Army Corps ordered to Advakce 
BEYOND Ypres, October 19 

I judged that a successful movement of this kind 
would be fraught with such disastrous consequences 
that the risk of operating on so extended a front 
must be undertaken ; and I directed Sir Douglas 
Haig to move with the First Corps to the north of 

From the best information at my disposal I judged 
at this time that the considerable reinforcements 
which the enemy had undoubtedly brought up dur- 
ing the 16th, 17th, and 18th had been directed 



principally on the line of the Lys and against the 
Second Corps at La Bassee ; and that Sir Douglas 
Haig would probably not be opposed north of Ypres 
by much more than the 3rd Reserve Corps, which 
I knew to have suffered considerably in its previous 
operations, and perhaps one or two Landwehr 

At a personal interview with Sir Douglas Haig 
on the evening of the 19th October I communicated 
the above information to him, and instructed him 
to advance with the First Corps through Ypres 
to Thourout. The object he was to have in view 
was to be the capture of Bruges and subsequently, 
if possible, to drive the enemy towards Ghent. 
In case of an unforeseen situation arising, or the 
enemy proving to be stronger than anticipated, he 
was to decide, after passing Ypres, according to 
the situation, whether to attack the enemy lying 
to the north or the hostile forces advancing from 
the east : I had arranged for the French Cavalry to 
operate on the left of the First Corps and the 3rd 
Cavalry Division, under General Byng, on its right. 

The Belgian Army were rendering what assistance 
they could by entrenching themselves on the Ypres 
Canal and the Yser River ; and the troops, al- 
though in the last stage of exhaustion, gallantly 
maintained their positions, buoyed up with the hope 
of substantial British and French support. 

I fully realized the difficult task which lay before 
us, and the onerous role which the British Army 
was called upon to fulfil. 

That success has been attained, and all the enemy's 


desperate attempts to break through our line frus- 
trated, is due entirely to the marvellous fighting 
power and the indomitable courage and tenacity of 
officers, non-commissioned officers and men. 

No more arduous task has ever been assigned to 
British soldiers ; and in all their splendid history 
there is no instance of their having answered so 
magnificently to the desperate calls which of neces- 
sity were made upon them. 

Having given these orders to Sir Douglas Haig, 
I enjoined a defensive role upon the Second and 
Third and Cavalry Corps, in view of the superiority 
of force which had accumulated in their front. As 
regards the Fourth Corps, I directed Sir Henry 
Rawlinson to endeavour to conform generally to 
the movements of the First Corps. 

Advance of First Corps, October 20 — 
October 21 

On the 20th October they reached the line from 
Elverdinghe to the cross-roads one and a half miles 
north-west of Zonnebeke. 

On the 21st the Corps was ordered to attack and 
take the line Poelcappelle-Passchendaele. 

Sir Henry Rawlinson's Command was moving on 
the right of the First Corps, and French troops, 
consisting of Cavalry and Territorials, moved on 
their left under the orders of General Bidon. 

The advance was somewhat delayed owing to 
the roads being blocked ; but the attack progressed 
favourably in face of severe opposition, often neces- 
sitating the use of the bayonet. 


Hearing of heavy attacks being made upon the 
7th Division and the 2nd Cavalry Division on his 
right, Sir Douglas Haig ordered his reserve to be 
halted on the north-eastern outskirts of Ypres. 

Although threatened by a hostile movement from 
the Foret d'Houthulst, our advance was successful 
until about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, when the 
French Cavalry Corps received orders to retire west 
of the canal. 

Owing to this and the demands made on him by 
the Fourth Corps, Sir Douglas Haig was unable to 
advance beyond the line Zonnebeke-St. Julien-Lange- 
marck-Bixschoote . 

Council of War, October 21 

As there was reported to be congestion with 
French troops at Ypres, I went there on the evening 
of the 21st and met Sir Douglas Haig and Sir Henry 
Rawlinson. With them I interviewed General De 
Mitry, Commanding the French Cavalry, and General 
Bidon, Commanding the French Territorial Divi- 

They promised me that the town would at once 
be cleared of the troops, and that the French Terri- 
torials would immediately move out and cover the 
left of the flank of the First Corps. 

I discussed the situation with the General Officers 
Commanding the First and Fourth Army Corps, 
and told them that, in view of the unexpected rein- 
forcements coming up of the enemy, it would prob- 
ably be impossible to carry out the original role 


assigned to them. But I informed them that I had 
that day interviewed the French Commander-in- 
Chief, Greneral Joffre, who told me that he was 
bringing up the 9th French Army Corps to Ypres, 
that more French troops would follow later, and 
that he intended — in conjunction with the Belgian 
troops — to drive the Germans east. General Joffre 
said that he would be unable to commence this 
movement before the 24th ; and I directed the 
General Officers Commanding the First and Fourth 
Corps to strengthen their positions as much as pos- 
sible and be prepared to hold their ground for two 
or three days, until the French offensive movement 
on the north could develop. 

Waiting for French Reinforcements, 
October 22 — October 23 

It now became clear to me that the utmost we 
could do to ward off any attempts of the enemy to 
turn our flank to the north, or to break in from the 
eastward was to maintain our present very extended 
front, and to hold fast our positions until French 
reinforcements could arrive from the south. 

During the 22nd the necessity of sending support 
to the Fourth Corps on his right somewhat ham- 
pered the General Officer Commanding the First 
Corps ; but a series of attacks all along his front 
had been driven back during the day with heavy 
loss to the enemy. Late in the evening the enemy 
succeeded in penetrating a portion of the line held 
by the Cameron Highlanders north of Pilkem. 


At 6 a.m. on the morning of the 23rd a counter 
attack to recover the lost trenches was made by the 
Queen's Regiment, the Northamptons and the King's 
Royal Rifles, under Major-General Bulfin. The 
attack was very strongly opposed and the bayonet 
had to be used. After severe fighting during most 
of the day the attack was brilliantly successful, 
and over six hundred prisoners were taken. 

On the same day an attack was made on the 
3rd Infantry Brigade. The enemy advanced with 
great determination, but with little skill, and con- 
sequently the loss inflicted on him was exceedingly 
heavy ; some fifteen hundred dead were seen in 
the neighbourhood of Langemarck. Correspondence 
found subsequently on a captured German officer 
stated that the effectives of this attacking corps 
were reduced to 25 per cent, in the course of the 
day's fighting. 

Akrival of French 9th Army Corps 

In the evening of this day a division of the French 
9th Army Corps came up into line and took over the 
portion of the line held by the 2nd Division, which, 
on the 24th, took up the ground occupied by the 
7th Division from Poelzelhoek to the Becelaere- 
Passchendaele road. 

On the 24th and 25th October repeated attacks 
by the enemy were brilliantly repulsed. 

On the night of the 24th-25th the 1st Division 
was relieved by French Territorial troops and con- 
centrated about Zillebeke. 


During the 25th the 2nd Division, with the 7th 
on its right and the French 9th Corps on its left, 
made good progress towards the north-east, cap- 
turing some guns and prisoners. 

Fourth Army Corps merged in the First 
Corps, October 27 

On the 27th October I went to the headquarters 
of the First Corps at Hooge to personally investigate 
the condition of the 7th Division. 

Owing to constant marching and fighting, ever 
since its hasty disembarkation in aid of the Antwerp 
Garrison, this division had suffered great losses, 
and were becoming very weak. I therefore decided 
temporarily to break up the Fourth Corps and place 
the 7th Division with the First Corps under the 
command of Sir Douglas Haig. 

The 3rd Cavalry Division was similarly detailed 
for service with the First Corps. 

I directed the Fourth Corps Commander to proceed, 
with his Staff, to England, to watch and supervise 
the mobilization of his 8th Division, which was then 

On receipt of orders, in accordance with the above 
arrangement, Sir Douglas Haig redistributed the 
line held by the First Corps as follows : 

(a) 7th Division from the Chateau east of Zand- 
voorde to the Menin road. 

(b) 1st Division from the Menin road to a point 
immediately west of Reytel village. 

(c) 2nd Division to near Moorslede-Zonnebeke 


The Crisis of the Battle for Ypres, 
October 29 — October 31 

On the early morning of the 29th October a heavy 
attack developed against the centre of the line held 
by the First Corps, the principal point of attack 
being the cross roads one mile east of Gheluvelt. 
After severe fighting — nearly the whole of the Corps 
being employed in counter-attack — ^the enemy began 
to give way at about 2 p.m. ; and by dark the 
Kruiseik Hill had been recaptured and the 1st 
Brigade had re-established most of the line north of 
the Menin road. 

Shortly after daylight on the 30th another attack 
began to develop in the direction of Zandvoorde, 
supported by heavy artillery fire. In face of this 
attack the 3rd Cavalry Division had to withdraw 
to the Klein Zillebeke ridge. This withdrawal in- 
volved the right of the 7th Division. 

Sir Douglas Haig describes the position at this 
period as serious, the Germans being in possession 
of Zandvoorde Ridge. 

Subsequent investigation showed that the enemy 
had been reinforced at this point by the whole 
German Active Fifteenth Corps. 

The General Officer Commanding First Corps 
ordered the line Gheluvelt to the corner of the Canal 
to be held at all costs. When this line was taken 
up the 2nd Brigade was ordered to concentrate in 
rear of the 1st Division and the 4th Brigade line. 
One battalion was placed in reserve in the woods 
one mile south of Hooge. 


Further precautions were taken at night to pro- 
tect this flank, and the Ninth French Corps sent 
three battalions and one Cavalry Brigade to assist. 

The First Corps' communications through Ypres 
were threatened by the advance of the Germans to- 
wards the Canal ; so orders were issued for every effort 
to be made to secure the line then held and, when this 
had been thoroughly done, to resume the offensive. 

An order taken from a prisoner who had been 
captured on this day purported to emanate from 
the German General Von Beimling, and said that 
the Fifteenth German Corps, together with the 
2nd Bavarian and Thirteenth Corps, were entrusted 
with the task of breaking through the line to Ypres ; 
and that the Emperor himself considered the success 
of this attack to be one of vital importance to the 
successful issue of the war. 

Perhaps the most important and decisive attack 
(except that of the Prussian Guard on 15th Novem- 
ber) made against the First Corps during the whole 
of its arduous experiences in the neighbourhood of 
Ypres took place on the 31st October. 

German Attack of October 31 
Greneral Moussy, who commanded the detachment 
which had been sent by the French Ninth Corps on 
the previous day to assist Sir Douglas Haig on the 
right of the First Corps, moved to the attack early 
in the morning, but was brought to a complete 
standstill, and could make no further progress. 

After several attacks and counter-attacks during 
the course of the morning along the Menin- Ypres- 


road, south-east of Gheluvelt, an attack against that 
place developed in great force, and the line of the 
1st Division was broken. On the south the 7th 
Division and Oeneral Bulfin's detachment were being 
heavily shelled. The retirement of the 1st Division 
exposed the left of the 7th Division, and owing to 
this the Royal Scots Fusiliers, who remained in their 
trenches, were cut off and surrounded. A strong 
infantry attack was developed against the right 
of the 7th Division at 1.30 p.m. 

Shortly after this the Headquarters of the 1st 
and 2nd Divisions were shelled. The General Officer 
Commanding 1st Division was wounded, three Staff 
Officers of the 1st Division and three of the 2nd 
D'i vision were killed. The General Officer Command- 
ing the 2nd Division also received a severe shaking, 
and was unconscious for a short time. General 
Landon assumed command of the 1st Division. 

Recovery of Gheluvelt 
On receiving a report about 2.30 p.m! from 
General Lomax that the 1st Division had moved 
back and that the enemy was coming on in strength, 
the General Officer Commanding the First Corps 
issued orders that the line, Frezenberg-Westhoek- 
bend of the main road-Klein Zillebeke-bend of Canal, 
was to be held at all costs. 

The 1st Division rallied on the line of the woods 

east of the bend of the road, the German advance by 

the road being checked by enfilade fire from the north. 

The attack against the right of the 7th Division 

forced the 22nd Brigade to retire, thus exposing 


the left of the 2nd Brigade. The General Officer 
Commanding the 7th Division used his reserve, 
already posted on his flank, to restore the line ; 
but, in the meantime, the 2nd Brigade, finding 
their left flank exposed, had been forced to with- 
draw. The right of the 7th Division thus advanced 
as the left of the 2nd Brigade went back, with the 
result that the right of the 7th Division was exposed, 
but managed to hold on to its old trenches till 

Meantime, on the Menin road, a counter-attack 
delivered by the left of the 1st Division and the 
right of the 2nd Division against the right flank 
of the Grerman line was completely successful, and 
by 2.30 p.m. Gheluvelt had been retaken with the 
bayonet, the 2nd Worcestershire Regiment being to 
the fore in this, admirably supported by the 42nd 
Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. The left of the 
7th Division, profiting by their capture of Gheluvelt, 
advanced almost to its original line ; and connec- 
tion between the 1st and 7th Divisions was re-estab- 
lished. The recapture of Gheluvelt released the 6th 
Cavalry Brigade, till then held in support of the 
1st Division. Two regiments of this brigade were 
sent at once to clear the woods to the south-east, 
and close the gap in the line between the 7th Division 
and 2nd Brigade. They advanced with much dash, 
partly mounted and partly dismounted ; and, sur- 
prising the enemy in the woods, succeeded in killing 
large numbers and materially helped to restore the 
line. About 5 p.m. the French Cavalry Brigade 
also came up to the cross-roads just east of Hooge, 


and at once sent forward a dismounted detachment 
to support our 7th Cavalry Brigade. 

Throughout the day the extreme right and left 
of the First Corps' line held fast, the left being only 
slightly engaged, while the right was heavily shelled 
and subjected to slight infantry attacks. In the 
evening the enemy were steadily driven back from 
the woods on the front of the 7th Division and 2nd 
Brigade ; and by 10 p.m. the line as held in the 
morning had practically been reoccupied. 

During the night touch was restored between the 
right of the 7th Division and left of the 2nd Brigade, 
and the Cavalry were withdrawn into reserve, the 
services of the French Cavalry being dispensed with. 

As a result of the day's fighting eight hundred 
and seventy wounded were evacuated. 

I was present with Sir Douglas Haig at Hooge 
between 2 and 3 o'clock on this day, when the 1st 
Division were retiring. I regard it as the most 
critical moment in the whole of this great battle. 
The rally of the 1st Division and the recapture of the 
village of Gheluvelt at such a time was fraught with 
momentous consequences. If any one unit can be 
singled out for especial praise it is the Worcesters. 

Staunch Defence by the Third Army Corps, 
October 20 — October 31 

7. In the meantime the centre of my line, occupied 
by the Third and Cavalry Corps, was being heavily 
pressed by the enemy in ever-increasing force. 

On the 20th October advanced posts of the 12th 
Brigade of the 4th Division, Third Corps, were 


forced to retire, and at dusk it was evident that the 
Grermans were Hkely to make a determined attack. 
This ended in the occupation of Le Gheir by the 

As the position of the Cavalry at St. Yves was 
thus endangered, a counter-attack was decided upon 
and planned by General Hunter- Weston and Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Anley. This proved entirely suc- 
cessful, the Germans being driven back with great 
loss and the abandoned trenches reoccupied. Two 
hundred prisoners were taken and about forty of 
our prisoners released. 

In these operations the staunchness of the King's 
Own Regiment and the Lancashire Fusiliers was 
most commendable. These two battalions were 
very well handled by Lieutenant -Colonel Butler of 
the Lancashire Fusiliers. 

I am anxious to bring to special notice the excel- 
lent work done throughout this battle by the Third 
Corps under General Pulteney's command. Their 
position in the right central part of my line was 
of the utmost importance to the general success 
of the operations. Besides the very undue length 
of front which the Corps was called upon to cover 
(some 12 or 13 miles), the position presented many 
weak spots, and was also astride of the River Lys, 
the right bank of which from Frelinghein downwards 
was strongly held by the enemy. It was impossible 
to provide adequate reserves, and the constant 
work in the trenches tried the endurance of officers 
and men to the utmost. That the Corps was in- 
variably successful in repulsing the constant attacks, 


sometimes in great strength, made against them 
by day and by night is due entirely to the skilful 
manner in which the Corps was disposed by its 
Commander, who has told me of the able assistance 
he has received throughout from his Staff, and the 
ability and resource displayed by Divisional, Brigade 
and Regimental leaders in using the ground and 
the means of defence at their disposal to the very 
best advantage. 

The courage, tenacity, endurance and cheerful- 
ness of the men in such unparalleled circumstances 
are beyond all praise. 

During the 22nd and 23rd and 24th October 
frequent attacks were made along the whole line 
of the Third Corps, and especially against the 16th 
Infantry Brigade ; but on all occasions the enemy 
was thrown back with loss. 

During the night of the 25th October the Leicester- 
shire Regiment were forced from their trenches by 
shells blowing in the pits they were in ; and after 
investigation by the General Officers Commanding 
the 16th and 18th Infantry Brigades it was decided 
to throw back the line temporarily in this neigh- 

On the evening of the 29th October the enemy 
made a sharp attack on Le Gheir, and on the line 
to the north of it, but were repulsed. 

About midnight a very heavy attack developed 
against the 19th Infantry Brigade south of Croix 
Marechal. A portion of the trenches of the Middle- 
sex Regiment was gained by the enemy and held 
by him for some hours till recaptured with the 


assistance of the detachment from the Argyll and 
Sutherland Highlanders from Brigade Reserve. The 
enemy in the trenches were all bayoneted or cap- 
tured. Later information from prisoners showed 
that there were twelve battalions opposite the 
19th Brigade. Over two hundred dead Germans 
were left lying in front of the Brigade's trenches, 
and forty prisoners were taken. 

On the evening of the 30th the line of the 11th 
Infantry Brigade in the neighbourhood of St. Yves 
was broken. A counter-attack carried out by Major 
Prowse with the Somerset Light Infantry restored 
the situation. For his services on this occasion 
this officer was recommended for special reward. 

On the 31st October it became necessary for the 
4th Division to take over the extreme right of the 
1st Cavalry Division's trenches, although this measure 
necessitated a still further extension of the line 
held by the Third Corps. 

The Cavalry Corps in the Trenches, 
October 22 — October 31 

8. On October 20th, while engaged in the attempt 
to force the line of the River Lys, the Cavalry Corps 
was attacked from the south and east. In the 
evening the 1st Cavalry Division held the line 
St. Yves-Messines : the 2nd Cavalry Division from 
Messines through Garde Dieu along the Wambeck 
to Houthem and Kortewilde. 

At 4 p.m. on the 21st October a heavy attack 
was made on the 2nd Cavalry Division, which wa§ 


compelled to fall back to the line Messines-9th kilo 
stone on the Warneton-Oostaverne road-Hollebeke. 

On the 22nd I directed the 7th Indian Infantry 
Brigade, less one battalion, to proceed to Wulver- 
ghem in support of the Cavalry Corps. General 
AUenby sent two battalions to Wytschaete and 
Voormezeele to be placed under the orders of General 
Gough, Commanding the 2nd Cavalry Division. . 

On the 23rd, 24th, and 25th several attacks were 
directed against the Cavalry Corps and repulsed 
with loss to the enemy. 

On the 26th October I directed General Allenby 
to endeavour to regain a more forward line, moving 
in conjunction with the 7th Division. But the 
latter being apparently quite unable to take the 
offensive, the attempt had to be abandoned. 

On October 30th heavy infantry attacks, sup- 
ported by powerful artillery fire, developed against 
the 2nd and 3rd Cavalry Divisions, especially against 
the trenches about HoUebeke held by the 3rd Cavalry 
Brigade. At 1.30 p.m. this Brigade was forced to 
retire, and the 2nd Cavalry Brigade, less one regi- 
ment, was moved across from the 1st Cavalry 
Division to a point between Oostaverne and 
St. Eloi in support of the 2nd Cavalry Division. 

The 1st Cavalry Division in the neighbourhood 
of Messines was also threatened by a heavy infantry 

General Allenby still retained the two Indian 
Battalions of the 7th Indian Brigade, although they 
were in a somewhat exhausted condition. 

After a close survey of the positions and con- 



sultations with the General Officer Commanding 
the Cavalry Corps, I directed four battalions of the 
Second Corps, which had lately been relieved from the 
trenches by the Indian Corps, to move to Neuve Eglise 
under General Shaw, in support of General Allenby. 

The London Scottish Territorial Battalion was 
also sent to Neuve Eglise. 

It now feU to the lot of the Cavalry Corps, which 
had been much weakened by constant fighting, to 
oppose the advance of two nearly fresh German 
Army Corps for a period of over forty-eight hours, 
pending the arrival of a French reinforcement. Their 
action was completely successful. I propose to send 
shortly a more detailed account of the operation. 

After the critical situation in front of the Cavalry 
Corps, which was ended by the arrival of the head 
of the French 16th Army Corps, the 2nd Cavalry 
Division was relieved by General Conneau's French 
Cavalry Corps and concentrated in the neighbour- 
hood of Bailleul. 

The 1st Cavalry Division continued to hold the 
line of trenches east of Wulverghem. 

From that time to the date of this despatch the 
Cavalry Divisions have relieved one another at 
intervals, and have supported by their artillery the 
attacks made by the French throughout that period 
on HoUebeke, Wytschaete, and Messines. 

The Third Corps holds its Ground. 
The Third Corps in its position on the right of 
the Cavalry Corps continued throughout the same 
period to repel constant attacks against its front, 


and suffered severely from the enemy's heavy 
artillery fire. 

The artillery of the 4th Division constantly 
assisted the French in their attacks. 

The General Officer Commanding Third Corps 
brings specially to my notice the excellent behaviour 
of the East Lancashire Regiment, the Hampshire 
Regiment and the Somersetshire Light Infantry in 
these latter operations ; and the skilful manner in 
which they were handled by General Hunter- West on, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Butler, and the Battalion Com- 

Doings of the Indian Troops in the Centre 

9. The Lahore Division arrived in its concen- 
tration area in rear of the Second Corps on the 19th 
and 20th October. 

I have already referred to the excellent work 
performed by the battalions of this Division which 
were supporting the Cavalry. The remainder of 
the Division from the 25th October onwards were 
heavily engaged in assisting the 7th Brigade of the 
Second Corps in fighting round Neuve Chapelle. 
Another brigade took over some ground previously 
held by the French 1st Cavalry Corps, and did 
excellent service. 

On the 28th October especially the 47th Sikhs 
and the 20th and 21st Companies of the 3rd Sappers 
and Miners distinguished themselves by their gallant 
conduct in the attack on Neuve Chapelle, losing 
heavily in officers and men. 


After the arrival of the Meerut Division at Corps 
Headquarters the Indian Army Corps took over 
the line previously held by the Second Corps, which 
was then partially drawn back into reserve. Two 
and a half brigades of British Infantry and a large 
part of the artillery of the Second Corps still re- 
mained to assist the Indian Corps in defence of this 
line. Two and a half battalions of these brigades 
were returned to the Second Corps when the Fero- 
zepore Brigade joined the Indian Corps after its 
support of the Cavalry further north. 

The Secunderabad Cavalry Brigade arrived in the 
area during the 1st and 2nd November, and the 
Jodhpur Lancers came about the same time. These 
were all temporarily attached to the Indian Corps. 

Up to the date of the present despatch the line 
held by the Indian Corps has been subjected to 
constant bombardment by the enemy's heavy artil- 
lery, followed up by infantry attacks. 

On two occasions these attacks were severe. 

On the 13th October the 8th Gurkha Rifles of the 
Bareilly Brigade were driven from their trenches, 
and on the 2nd November a serious attack was 
developed against a portion of the line west of 
Neuve Chapelle. On this occasion the line was 
to some extent pierced, and was consequently 
slightly bent back. 

The situation was prevented from becoming 
serious by the excellent leadership displayed by 
Colonel Norie, of the 2nd Gurkha Rifles. 

Since their arrival in this country, and their 
occupation of the line allotted to them, I have been 


much impressed by the initiative and resource dis- 
played by the Indian troops. Some of the ruses 
they have employed to deceive the enemy have 
been attended with the best results, and have doubt- 
less kept superior forces in front of them at bay. 

The Corps of Indian Sappers and Miners have 
long enjoyed a high reputation for skill and resource. 
Without going into detail, I can confidently assert 
that throughout their work in this campaign they 
have fully justified that reputation. 

The General Officer Commanding the Indian 
Army Corps describes the conduct and bearing of 
these troops in strange and new surroundings to have 
been highly satisfactory, and I am enabled, from my 
own observation, to fully corroborate his statement. 

Honorary Major-General H.H. Sir Pratap Singh 
Bahadur, G.C.S.I., G.C.V.O., K.C.B., A.D.C., Maha- 
raja-Regent of Jodhpur ; Honorary Lieutenant 
H.H. The Maharaja of Jodhpur ; Honorary Colonel 
H.H. Sir Ganga Singh Bahadur, G.C.S.L, G.C.I.E., 
A.D.C., Maharaja of Bikanir ; Honorary Major H.H. 
Sir Madan Singh Bahadur, K.C.S.I., K.C.I.E., 
Maharaja-Dhiraj of Kishengarh ; Honorary Captain 
The Honourable Malik Umar Hayat Khan, C.I.E., 
M.V.O., Tiwana ; Honorary Lieutenant Raj -Kumar 
Hira Singh of Panna ; Honorary Lieutenant Maha- 
raj -Kumar Hitendra Narayan of Cooch Behar ; 
Lieutenant Malik Mumtaz Mahomed Khan, Native 
Indian Land Forces ; Resaldar Khwaja Mahomed 
Khan Bahadur, Queen Victoria's Own Corps of 
Guides ; Honorary Captain Shah Mirza Beg, are 
serving with the Indian contingents. 


Renewed German Attacks on the First Army 
Corps, November 2 — November 12 

10. Whilst the whole of the line has continued 
to be heavily pressed, the enemy's principal~efforts 
since the 1st November have been concentrated 
upon breaking through the line held by the First 
British and 9th French Corps, and thus gaining 
possession of the town of Ypres. 

From the 2nd November onwards the 27th, the 
15th and parts of the Bavarian 13th and 2nd German 
Corps, besides other troops, were all directed against 
this northern line . 

About the 10th instant, after several units of 
these Corps had been completely shattered in futile 
attacks, a division of the Prussian Guard, which 
had been operating in the neighbourhood of Arras, 
was moved up to this ariea with great speed and 
secrecy. Documents found on dead officers prove 
that the Guard had received the Emperor's special 
commands to break through and succeed where 
their comrades of the line had failed. 

They took a leading part in the vigorous attacks 
made against the centre on the 11th and 12th ; but, 
like their comrades, were repulsed with enormous 

Throughout this trying period Sir Douglas Haig, 
ably assisted by his Divisional and Brigade Com- 
manders, held the line with marvellous tenacity and 
undaunted courage. 

Words fail me to express the admiration I feel 
for their conduct, or my sense of the incalculable 


services they rendered. I venture to predict that 
their deeds during these days of stress and trial 
will furnish some of the most brilliant chapters 
which will be found in the military history of our 

Officers Honourably Mentioned 

The First Corps was brilliantly supported by the 
3rd Cavalry Division under General Byng. 8ir 
Douglas Haig has constantly brought this officer's 
eminent services to my notice. His troops were 
repeatedly called upon to restore the situation at 
critical points, and to fill gaps in the line caused 
by the tremendous losses which occurred. 

Both Corps and Cavalry Division Commanders 
particularly bring to my notice the name of Brigadier- 
General Kavanagh, Commanding the 7th Cavalry 
Brigade, not only for his skill but his personal 
bravery and dash. This was particularly noticeable 
when the 7th Cavalry Brigade was brought up to 
support the French troops when the latter were 
driven back near the village of Klein Zillebeke on 
the night of the 7th November. On this occasion 
1 regret to say Colonel Gordon Wilson, Commanding 
the Royal Horse Guards, and Major the Hon. Hugh 
Dawnay, Commanding the 2nd Life Guards, were 

In these two officers the Army has lost valuable 
cavalry leaders. 

Another officer whose name was particularly^ 
mentioned to me was that of Brigadier-General 
FitzClarence, V.C., Commanding the 1st Guards 


Brigade. He was, unfortunately, killed in the night 
attack of the Ilth November. His loss wdll be 
severely felt. 

The First Corps Commander informs me that on 
many occasions Brigadier-Greneral the Earl of Cavan, 
Commanding the 4th Guards Brigade, was con- 
spicuous for the skill, coolness, and courage with 
which he led his troops, and for the successful 
manner in which he dealt with many critical situa- 

I have more than once during this campaign 
brought forward the name of Major-General Bulfin 
to Your Lordship's notice. Up to the evening of 
the 2nd November, when he was somewhat severely 
wounded, his services continued to be of great 

Regular and Territorial Units Mentioned. 
Praise of the Flying Corps and Signal Corps 

On the 5th November I despatched eleven bat- 
talions of the Second Corps, all considerably reduced 
in strength, to relieve the infantry of the 7th Divi- 
sion, which was then brought back into general 
reserve . 

Three more battalions of the same Corps, the 
London Scottish and Hertfordshire Battalions of 
Territorials, and the Somersetshire and Leicester- 
shire Regiments of Yeomanry, were subsequently 
sent to reinforce the troops fighting to the east 
of Ypres . 

General Byng in the case of the Yeomanrj^ 


Cavalry Regiments and Sir Douglas Haig in that 
of the Territorial Battalions speak in high terms of 
their conduct in the field and of the value of their 

The battalions of the Second Corps took a con- 
spicuous part in repulsing the heavy attacks de- 
livered against this part of the line. I was obliged 
to despatch them immediately after their trying 
experiences in the southern part of the line and 
when they had had a very insufficient period of 
rest ; and, although they gallantly maintained these 
northern positions until relieved by the French, they 
were reduced to a condition of extreme exhaustion. 

The work performed by the Royal Flying Corps 
has continued to prove of the utmost value to the 
success of the operations. 

I do not consider it advisable in this despatch to 
go into any detail as regards the duties assigned 
to the Corps and the nature of their work, but 
almost every day new methods for employing them, 
both strategically and tactically, are discovered 
and put into practice. 

The development of their use and employment 
has indeed been quite extraordinary, and I feel sure 
that no effort should be spared to increase their 
numbers and perfect their equipment and efficiency. 

In the period covered by this despatch Territorial 
Troops have been used for the first time in the 
Army under my command. 

The units actually engaged have been the 
Northumberland, Northamptonshire, North Somer- 
set, Leicestershire and Oxfordshire Regiments of 


Yeomanry Cavalry ; and the London Scottish, 
Hertfordshire, Honourable Artillery Company, and 
the Queen's Westminster Battalions of Territorial 

The conduct and bearing of these units under 
fire, and the efficient manner in which they carried 
out the various duties assigned to them, have imbued 
me with the highest hope as to the value and help 
of Territorial Troopfe generally. 

Units which I have mentioned above, other than 
these, as having been also engaged, have by their 
conduct fully justified these hopes. 

Regiments and battalions as they arrive come 
into a temporary camp of instniction, which is 
formed at Headquarters, where they are closely 
inspected, their equipment examined, so far as 
possible perfected, and such instruction as can be 
given to them in the brief time available in the use 
of machine guns, &c., is imparted. 

Several units have now been sent up to the front 
besides those I have already named, but have not 
yet been engaged. 

I am anxious in this despatch to bring to Your 
Lordship's special notice the splendid work which 
has been done throughout the campaign by the 
Cyclists of the Signal Corps. 

Carrjdng despatches and messages at all hours 
of the day and night, in every kind of weather, and 
often traversing bad roads blocked with transport, 
they have been conspicuously successful in main- 
taining an extraordinary degree of efficiency in the 
service of communications. 


Many casualties have occurred in their ranks, but 
no amount of difficulty or danger has ever checked 
the energy and ardour which has distinguished their 
Corps throughout the operations. 

General Comments on the Battle 

11. As I close this despatch there are signs in 
evidence that we are possibly in the last stages 
of the battle of Ypres-Armentieres. 

For several days past the enemy's artillery fire 
has considerably slackened, and infantry attack has 
practically ceased. 

In remarking upon the general military situation 
of the Allies as it appears to me at the present 
moment, it does not seem to be clearly understood 
that the operations in which we have been engaged 
embrace nearly all the Continent of Central Europe 
from East to West. The combined French, Belgian, 
and British Armies in the West and the Russian 
Army in the East are opposed to the united forces 
of Grermany and Austria acting as a combined army 
between us. 

Our enemies elected at the commencement of the 
war to throw the weight of their forces against the 
armies in the West, and to detach only a compara- 
tively weak force, composed of very few first-line 
troops and several corps of the second and third 
lines, to stem the Russian advance till the Western 
Forces could be completely defeated and over- 

Their strength enabled them from the outset to 


throw greatly superior forces against us in the 
West. This precluded the possibility of our taking 
a vigorous offensive, except when the miscalcula- 
tions and mistakes made by their commanders 
opened up special opportunities for a successful 
attack and pursuit. 

The battle of the Mame was an example of this, 
as was also our advance from St. Omer and Haze- 
brouck to the line of the Lys at the commencement 
of this battle. The role which our armies in the 
West have consequently been called upon to fulfil 
has been to occupy strong defensive positions, 
holding the ground gained and inviting the enemy's 
attack ; to throw these attacks back, causing the 
enemy heavy losses in his retreat and following him 
up with powerful and successful counter-attacks 
to complete his discomfiture. 

The value and significance of the role fulfilled 
since the commencement of hostilities by the Allied 
Forces in the West lies in the fact that at the 
moment when the Eastern Provinces of Grermany 
are in imminent danger of being overrun by the 
numerous and powerful armies of Russia, nearly 
the whole of the active army of Germany is tied 
down to a line of trenches extending from the 
Fortress of Verdun on the Alsatian frontier round 
to the sea at Nieuport, east of Dunkirk (a distance 
of 260 miles), where they are held, much reduced 
in numbers and moral, by the successful action of 
our troops in the West, 


The Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers 

I cannot speak too highly of the valuable services 
rendered by the Royal Artillery throughout the 

In spite of the fact that the enemy has brought 
up guns in support of his attacks of great range 
and shell power, ours have succeeded throughout 
in preventing the enemy from establishing anything 
in the nature of an artillery superiority. The skill, 
courage, and energy displayed by their commanders 
have been very marked. 

The Greneral Officer Commanding Third Corps, 
who had special means of judging, makes mention 
of the splendid work performed by a number of 
young Artillery officers, who in the most gallant 
manner pressed forward in the vicinity of the firing 
line in order that their guns may be able to shoot 
at the right targets at the right moment. 

The Royal Engineers have, as usual, been inde- 
fatigable in their efforts to assist the infantry in 
field fortification and trench work. 

I deeply regret the heavy casualties which we 
have suffered ; but the nature of the fighting has 
been very desperate, and we have been assailed 
by vastly superior numbers. I have every reason 
to know that throughout the course of the battle 
we have placed at least three times as many of 
the enemy hors de combat in dead, wounded, and 


Thanks Tendered to French Generals 

Throughout these operations General Foch has 
strained his resources to the utmost to afford me 
all the support he could ; and an expression of my 
warm gratitude is also due to General D'Urbal, 
Commanding the 8th French Army on my left, 
and Greneral Maud'huy, Commanding the 10th 
French Army on my right. 

I have many recommendations to bring to Your 
Lordship's notice for gallant and distinguished ser- 
vice performed by officers and men in the period 
under report. These will be submitted shortly, as 
soon as they can be collected. 

I have the honour to be. 
Your Lordship's most obedient servant, 
Field-Marshal, Commanding-in-Chief, 
The British Army in the Field. 


Admiralty^ December bth, 1914. 
The following dispatch has been received from Field- 
Marshal Sir J. D. P. French, G.C.B., a.C.V.O., K.C.M.G., 
covering a dispatch from Major-General A. Paris, C.B., 
E.M.A., relating to the operations round Antwerp from 
October 3rd to the 9th :— 

From Sir J. D. P. French, Field-Marshal, Commanding- 
in-Chief, to the Secretary of the Admiralty. 

In forwarding this report to the Army Council at the 
request of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, 
I have to state that, from a comprehensive review of all the 
circumstances, the force of Marines and Naval Brigades 
which assisted in the defence of Antwerp was handled by 
General Paris with great skill and boldness. 

Although the results did not include the actual saying of 
the fortress, the action of the force under General Paris 
certainly delayed the enemy for a considerable time, and 
assisted the Belgian Army to be withdrawn in a condition 
to enable it to reorganize and refit, and regain its value as 
a fighting force. The destruction of war material and 
ammunition — ^which, but for the intervention of this force, 
would have proved of great value to the enemy — was thus 
able to be carried out. 

The assistance which the Belgian Army has rendered 
throughout the subsequent course of the operations on the 
canal and the Yser river has been a valuable asset to the 
Allied cause,'and such help must be regarded as an outcome 
of the intervention of General Paris's force. I am further 


of opinion that the moral effect produced on the minds of the 
Belgian Army by this necessarily desperate attempt to 
bring them succour, before it was too late, has been of great 
value to their use and efficiency as a fighting force. 



From the Secretary of the Admiralty to Field-Marshal Sir 
J. D. P. French, Commanding-in-Chief. {Enclosure 
in No. 1.) 


November 2nd, 1914. 

I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the 
Admiralty to transmit herewith a dispatch from Major- 
General Paris, reporting the proceedings of the Division 
round Antwerp from October 3rd to 9th, with a view to its 
being considered by you and forwarded to the Army Council 
with your survey of the operations as a whole. 
I am, &c., 


Frofri Major-General A. Paris, C.B., Commanding Royal 
Naval Division, to the Secretary of the Admiralty. {Sub- 
enclosure in No. 1.) 

October 31st, 1914. 

Regarding the operations round Antwerp from October 
3rd to 9th, I have the honour to report as follows : — 

The Brigade (2,200 all ranks) reached Antwerp during 
the night October 3rd-4th, and early on the 4th occupied, 
with the 7th Belgian Regiment, the trenches facing Lierre, 
with advanced post on the River Nethe, relieving some 
exhausted Belgian troops. 


The outer forts on this front had already fallen and 
bombardment of the trenches was in progress. This 
increased in violence during the night and early morning of 
October 5th, when the advanced posts were driven in and 
the enemy effected a crossing of the river, which was not 
under fire from the trenches. 

About midday the 7th Belgian Regiment was forced to 
retire, thus exposing my right flank. A vigorous counter- 
attack, gallantly led by Colonel Tierchon, 2nd Chasseurs, 
assisted by our aeroplanes, restored the position late in the 

Unfortunately, an attempt made by the Belgian troops 
during the night (October 5th-6th) to drive the enemy 
across the river failed, and resulted in the evacuation of 
practically the whole of the Belgian trenches. 

The few troops now capable of another counter-attack 
were unable to make any impression, and the position of 
the Marine Brigade became untenable. 

The bombardment, too, was very violent, but the retire- 
ment of the Brigade was well carried out, and soon after 
midday (October 6th) an intermediate position, which had 
been hastily prepared, was occupied. 

The two Naval Brigades reached Antwerp during the 
night, October 5th-6th. The 1st Brigade moved out in the 
afternoon of 5th to assist the withdrawal to the main 
2nd Line of Defence. 

The retirement was carried out during the night, October 
6th-7th, without opposition, and the Naval Division 
occupied the intervals between the forts on the 2nd Line 
of Defence. 

The bombardment of the town, forts and trenches began 
at midnight, October 7th-8th, and continued with increasing 
intensity until the evacuation of the fortress. 

As the water supply had been cut, no attempt could be 


made to subdue the flames, and soon 100 houses were 
burning. Fortunately, there was no wind, or the whole 
town and bridges must have been destroyed. 

During the day (October 8th) it appeared evident that 
the Belgian Army could not hold the forts any longer. 
About 5.30 p.m. I considered that if the Naval Division 
was to avoid disaster an immediate retirement under cover 
of darkness was necessary. General De Guise, the Belgian 
Commander, was in complete agreement. He was most 
chivalrous and gallant, insisting on giving orders that the 
roads and bridges were to be cleared for the passage of the 
British troops. 

The retirement began about 7.30 p.m., and was carried 
out under very difficult conditions. 

The enemy were reported in force (a Division plus 
a Reserve Brigade) on our immediate line of retreat, 
rendering necessary a detour of 15 miles to the north. 

All the roads were crowded with Belgian troops, refugees, 
herds of cattle, and all kinds of vehicles, making inter- 
communication a practical impossibility. Partly for these 
reasons, partly on account of fatigue, and partly from at 
present unexplained causes large numbers of the 1st Naval 
Brigade became detached, and I regret to say are either 
prisoners or interned in Holland. 

Marching all night (October 8th to 9th), one battalion of 
1st Brigade, the 2nd Brigade and Royal Marine Brigade, 
less one battalion, entrained at St. Gillies Waes and effected 
their retreat without further incident. 

The Battalion (Royal Marine Brigade) Rear Guard of the 
whole force, also entrained late in the afternoon together 
with many hundreds of refugees, but at Morbeke the line 
was cut, the engine derailed, and the enemy opened fire. 

There was considerable confusion. It was dark and the 
agitation of the refugees made it difficult to pass any orders. 


However, the battalion behaved admirably, and succeeded 
in fighting its way through, but with a loss in missing of 
more than half its number. They then marched another 
10 miles to Selzaate and entrained there. 

Colonel Seely and Colonel Bridges were not part of my 
command, but they rendered most skilful and helpful 
services during the evacuation. 

The casualties are approximately — 

1st Naval Brigade and 2nd Naval Brigade, 5 killed, 

64 wounded, 2,040 missing. 

Royal Marine Brigade, 23 killed, 103 wounded, 

388 missing. 

In conclusion, I would call your attention to the good 
services rendered by the following officers and men during 
the operations — 



Lieut.-Colonel A. H. OUivant, R.A. 

Major Richardson, N.Z. Staff Corps. 

Fleet Surgeon E. J. Finch, R.N. 
1st Brigade — 

Lieutenant G. G. Grant, R.N.V.R. 

Sub-Lieutenant C. 0. F. Modin, R.N.V.R. 
2nd Brigade — 

Commodore 0. Backhouse, R.N., Commanding Brigade. 

Captain W. L. Maxwell, Brigade Major. 

Sub-Lieutenant H. C. Hedderwick, R.N.V.R. 
Royal Marine Brigade — 

Lieut.-Colonel C. Mc. N. Parsons, R.M.L.I., in command 
most of the time. 

Major A. H. French, R.M.L.L, 10th Battalion. 

Lieutenant D. J. Gowney, R.M.L.L, lOth Battalion. 


Naval Brigade — 
Chief Petty Officer B. H. Ellis, No. 748, B Co., E.N.V.R., 

Chief Petty Officer Payne, D Co. 

Petty Officer (Acting) W. Wallace, O.N., Dev., 211,130. 
Stoker Petty Officer W. S. Cole, O.N., Ch. 100,113. 
Leading Seaman (Acting) H. D. Lowe, R.N.R., Dev., 

No. B. 2542. 
Ordinary Seaman G. Ripley, new Army recruit, C Co. 

(now R.N.V.R.). 
Ordinary Seaman T. Machen, new Army recruit, C Co. 

(now R.N.V.R.). 
Royal Marine Brigade — ■ 
Sergeant-Ma j or (Acting) Galliford. 
Quartermaster-Sergeant Kenny, R.F.R., Ch. A. 426. 
Sergeant G. H. Bruce, R.F.R., Ch. A. 631. 
Lance-Corporal T. C. Frank, Ch. 17817. 
Lance-Corporal W. J, Cook, Ply. 7685. 
Private G. H. Hall, R.F.R., Ch. B. 194. 
Private C. J. Fleet, R.F.R., Ch. B. 1585. 
Private S. Lang, Ch. 18446. 
Sergeant E. Walch (R. Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth 

Reserve), S.B. 508. 

I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

A. PARIS, Major-General, 
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief 







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No conflict in history exceeds in magnitude or impor- 
tance the battle which commenced on the banks of the 
Aisne on September 13, 1914. The numbers engaged 
were upwards of two millions. The area involved 
stretched on September 13 from Verdun to Noyon, 
a distance of about one hundred and thirty miles, and 
included Laon and Soissons, Rheims and Compiegne. 
The immense battle-Une lengthened from day to day. 
On September 28, its western extremity was Peronne. 
On October 2, gun defied gun from Verdun to Laon, 
from Laon to Arras. The Battle of the Aisne, which 
already summarized many engagements that once 
historians would have dignified, but modem com- 
parisons forbid to be described, as battles in themselves, 
became itself part of one gigantic conflict which raged 
from the bounds of England to the confines of Switzer- 
land. The thmider of the gims reverberated from the 
cliffs of Dover to the gorges of the Swiss Jura. But 
of the whole battle -line of the Aisne no section was 
more strategically important than that occupied by 
the British. Not one of the separate engagements, of 
the British or of the French, which together comprised 
the battle, was more strategically important or more 
stubbornly contested than that fought in the woods 
and on the hill-sides around Troyon. The struggle 

^ An outline of this narrative may be found in Sir John French's 
dispatch dated October 8, and published October 18. 


opened with a night-attack in the early hours of 
September 14. How that struggle was won it is our 
purpose to describe. 

Shortly after midnight on September 14, the 2nd 
Infantry Brigade, billeted in Moulins, began to muster. 
The conditions, indeed, were favourable to a night- 
attack. Rain fell at intervals. Heavy mist intensified 
the darkness. Nevertheless, Brigadier-General Bulfin 
could not but feel anxiety as to his prospects of success. 
The force under his command, now mustering without 
bugle-call or beat of drum, only numbered some 4,000 
men. It comprised battalions of the King's Royal 
Rifles, the Royal Sussex, the Northamptonshire, the 
Loyal North Lancashire Regiments, and was sup- 
ported by the 25th Artillery Brigade, which was short 
of a battery. There was ground for believing, and it 
was afterwards clearly established, that in the previous 
week the Germans had carefully selected their position, 
had taken all ranges, had dug gun-pits and trenches, 
with the object of making a determined stand here, rather 
than upon the banks of the Aisne between CEuilh^ and 
the Pont-Arcy. Only a few hours before, on the morn- 
ing of the 13th, the whole 1st British Division had met 
with little opposition in crossing the river. But the 
formidable position to which the enemy had retired, 
south of the Une of the Chemin des Dames, looked 
down at the wooded slopes around Troyon across 
a wide valley almost destitute of cover. Some of the 
oldest local inhabitants could remember that this very 
spot had been held by the Germans in the campaign 
of 1871. There was another tradition. Historians 
asserted that, a short distance away, on the hill above 
Bourg and Comin, Labienus, the lieutenant of Caesar^ 


had successful!}" defended Gaul against barbarians 
attacking from the north. Excavation a few years 
before had revealed in the huge quarries there, now 
occupied by modem artillery, a subterranean village 
containing quantities of GaUic pottery and arms. The 
Germans might well be expected to offer considerable 
resistance. Signs, moreover, were not wanting of the 
constant watchfulness and activity of both the opposing 
armies. Desultory firing and the occasional screech of 
a shell broke the silence at intervals. The Medical Corps 
were at work bringing in the wounded. Great search- 
lights swept ceaselessly the death-ridden valley of the 
Aisne. If those great shafts of Hght, which the mist 
hampered but did not destroy, were to plaj^ on the 
woods and fields of Troyon and Vendresse, the British 
could scarcely hope to dehver their attack without 
previous discovery. As Bulfin awaited somewhat 
anxiously the return of the officers' patrol he had sent 
out to reconnoitre, perhaps he recalled under what 
different circumstances he had fought in the highlands 
of Bin:ma, or gained distinction in the South African 
campaigns. Shortly before three o'clock the officers 
returned. They reported to the General a considerable 
force of the enemy near a factory north of Troyon. 

Troyon lies on the Laon road, about half-way between 
Cerny and Vendresse. Wooded slopes of considerable 
height separate it from where, to its north, near Cerny, 
the Laon road crosses the Chemin des Dames. West 
of Troyon, densely wooded country undulates towards 
the high hills around Braye. East of Troyon a spur 
of hills rises sharply. Southwards, between Moulins 
and Troyon, continuous woodland could conceal, but 
would not faciUtate, the approach of the British. 

At three o'clock Bulfin ordered the Bang's Royal 


Rifles and the Royal Sussex Regiment to move forward 
from Moulins. The advance was made as noiselessly 
as possible. Everything depended upon the enemy 
being surprised. At length the British drew near. 
The apprehensions of some of the officers were at 
one point alarmed by hearing a sudden sharp cry. 
A stray shot, an effect of the general desultory firing, 
had shattered the arm of one of the men. He could 
not restrain a cry of agony. But next moment the 
brave fellow seized a piece of turf with his uninjured 
hand and thrust it between his teeth. He held it in 
this position till he was able to crawl back through 
the lines. Soon the British came into touch with the 
German outposts. To conceal their approach now 
was hardly possible, and they pushed on rapidly till 
they gained the ground to the north of Troyon. A 
large factory, occupied by an expectant foe, now im- 
peded further advance. The Germans opened fire. 
The alarm given, the German batteries in the entrench- 
ments near the factory also opened fire. Meanwhile, 
the British had formed a firing fine, and had begun to 
creep forward. The skilful use they made of their 
ground on that day called forth the admiration of the 
Germans themselves. All efforts to advance, however, 
were soon checked by the continuous fusillade. The 
black heights, the factory silhouetted against the sky, 
the dark wooded slopes, presented to the British lying 
under cover a front sparkhng with innumerable points 
of fire, illumined by the flashes and shaken by the 
thunder of numerous guns. Light rain and soaking 
mist aggravated the discomforts but lessened the 
dangers of the men. Reinforcements were at hand. 
At four o'clock the Northamptonshire Regiment had 
left Moulins and advanced to occupy the hills east of 


Troyon. A considerable time passed with the line, 
thus extended, keeping up a hot fire and advancing 
where possible. All efforts to dislodge the enemy from 
the factory proved futile. It was held in considerable 
force. The darkness, the mist, the rain-sodden groimd, 
hampered the advance of the artillery. The east was 
paling. The shadows in the woods were growing grey. 
Dawn would soon break. It was not unlikely that the 
Rifles and the Sussex Regiment would be unable to 
maintain their position when revealed by dayUght. 
About six o'clock, therefore, Bulfin directed the Loyal 
North Lancashires, who had proceeded from Moulins 
to Vendresse, to support their comrades at Troyon in 
a determined effort to make headway. The effort 
proved unavaihng. Shortly afterwards, however, the 
1st Infantry Brigade arrived. The Coldstream Guards 
were hurried to the right, the Grenadier, the Irish, 
the Scots Guards to the left, of the 2nd Brigade. 

These reinforcements soon made themselves felt. 
The very presence of the Guards, indeed, was of con- 
siderable moral value. The glory of innumerable 
campaigns had made them jealous of a reputation won 
upon such fields as Malplaquet and Fontenoy, as Talavera 
and Barrosa, and as Inkerman. No other corps of 
soldiers existing could show as fine a record as that 
which numbered among its achievements the capture 
of Gibraltar and the defence of Hougomont at the 
crisis of Waterloo. The Coldstreams particularly 
could recall an old resentment against the foes they 
now faced. Over a hundred years before, in 1793, 
British and Prussians lay opposite French entrench- 
ments in a forest . They were then aUies . 5,000 Austrians 
had been thrice repulsed with a loss of 1,700 men. 
The Prussians were asked to undertake the attack. 


Their general, who also commanded the British, sent 
the Coldstreams, only 600 strong, alone to the assault. 
It was impossible to carry the entrenchments. The 
regiment was cut up severely. But it could not be 
dislodged from the wood. 

A vigorous attack was now made upon the German 
lines. The position was rushed at the point of the 
bayonet. Unsupported by artiller}^ the British met 
with a heavy rifle and shell fire before they reached the 
enemy's trenches. Tremendous hand-to-hand fighting 
followed. Fourteen years before, stout Boer burghers, 
impervious to fear of the bullet, had fled in terror at 
the flash of the deadly bayonet. The Germans had so 
far shown a partiality for artillery duels, for steady 
advance in packed masses, for the weight of numbers. 
They were not accustomed to calculate, nor inchned 
to rely, upon the dash and the elan, as the French 
say, of a charge with the cold steel. Unable to with- 
stand the furious British assault, they abandoned five 
guns in a hurried retreat ; 280 prisoners were taken to 
the rear by the Sussex Regiment, 47 by the Scots 

The capture of the factory could only be effected 
after a desperate struggle and with considerable loss. 
The Loyal North Lancashires lay opposite the position. 
It presented difficulties, indeed, which might well 
cause misgivings to the bravest. Every door was sure 
to be bolted and barred. Death lurked behind every 
window. But the Loyal North Lancashires could not 
hesitate while other regiments on their right and left 
were striking vigorously at the foe. A party of them 
forced a passage over shattered doors and barricades, 
over ruined furniture, over the piled corpses of the 
slain. Some prisoners and several machine guns fell 


into their hands. The position thus won was held by 
men of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment throughout 
the day. 

The morning, which had dawned amid the roar of 
action, was cold and windy, and showed the British 
how formidable was their task. The Hne to which the 
Germans had retreated was strong. Concealed artillery 
strengthened their entrenchments, which covered a long 
stretch of rising open ground. The fusillade recom- 
menced and continued with renewed violence. At 
about nine o'clock the screech of shells coming from 
the British lines announced that at last the British 
artillery was able to render the infantry effective 

Our purpose is merely to record the operations which 
took place in the neighbourhood of Troyon on 
September 14. But it is necessary to mention the 
position of the Allies on either flank of the brigades 
engaged, which belonged to the 1st Division. To the 
right of the line of the 1st and 2nd Brigades, on the 
further side of the spur of hills to the east of Troyon, 
the troops from French Morocco were entrenched in 
echelon. They came, indeed, from a region on which 
Germany had once cast covetous eyes. She had had, 
however, when she sent the Panther to Agadir, good 
reason to desire to make dependants, or at least 
aUies, of the Moroccans. For they had proved terrible 
foes. On the left of the 1st Division the 2nd Division 
had been advancing since an early hour towards 
Ostel and Braye. The 6th Infantry Brigade, the right 
wing of the 2nd Division, at nine o'clock reached 
Tilleul. Here its progress was checked by that 
artillery and rifle fire which had checked effectually the 
progress of the brigades north of Troyon. A dangerous 


interval of ground disconnected the firing lines of these 
two forces. Sir Douglas Haig grasped the importance 
of covering this interval. It was more than likely that 
the enemy would choose a point so vulnerable for counter- 
attack. The 3rd Infantry Brigade was at hand. At 
six o'clock it had left Bourg, where it had been billeted 
during the night, and had at ten o'clock reached a point 
one mile south of Vendresse. It was immediately 
ordered to continue the line of the 1st Brigade and to 
connect with and aid the right of the 2nd Division. 
This disposition was speedily justified. No sooner had 
the 3rd Brigade covered the interval, than a heavy 
shrapnel fire was opened upon them, and a strong hostile 
column was found to be advancing. 

The commanding officer of the 3rd Brigade, Brigadier- 
General James Landon, took prompt and decisive 
action. Two of his battahons made a vigorous counter- 
attack. A battery of field-guns was rushed into action, 
and opened fire at short range with deadly effect. 
The Grerman artiUery, hurling a continuous shower 
of shells during the whole day upon and around 
Vendresse, could not inflict on the British such 
slaughter as one deadly hail of shell and bullet could 
inflict upon the close masses of German infantry. 
The advancing column, menaced on either flank, hastily 

Both British and German lines were now strongly 
held. The fighting during the whole of the morning 
and till late in the afternoon continued to be of a most 
desperate character. Both the opposing forces con- 
tinually dehvered attacks and counter-attacks. British 
and Germans advanced and retired in turn, surging 
and receding like breakers on a sea-coast. The men in 
the firing lines took turns in the dangerous duty of 


watching for advancing enemies, while the rest lay low 
in the protecting trenches. Artillery boomed continually 
from the hill-sides. Maxim and rifle fire crackled cease- 
lessly in the woods and valleys. At times a sonorous 
unmistakable hum swelled the volume of soimd. The 
aeroplanes, despite rain and wind, were continually 
upon the alert. The troops on solid ground watched 
them circhng at dizzy heights amid the flashes of 
bursting shells, and marvelled at the coolness, the 
intrepidity, and the skill of those who controlled levers 
and recorded observations as they hovered, the mark 
for every hostile gun, in the open sky. No ditch or wall 
screened the airmen from the most certain and the 
most horrible of deaths. Only their speed and their 
good fortune could elude the stray bullet and the 
flying splinter of shell which would send those dehcate 
mechanisms hurtling to earth. During the course of 
the struggle a German aeroplane flew at a great height 
over the British Unes. It was weU out of reach of fire. 
A British machine rose, swept in a wide semicircle 
around its opponent, and mounted steadily. The 
German, becoming aUve to these movements, made 
efforts to attack his adversary from above. He swooped 
suddenly and fired. The British swerved giddily 
upwards, and gained the same altitude as the German. 
Those who watched from below that remarkable duel 
could see the two machines manoeuvring at a great 
height for the upper place, and could hear distantly 
the sound of shots. The airmen showed superb nerve. 
The struggle ranged up and down for some minutes. 
Then the British seized a sudden advantage of superior 
height. The machines seemed to close. The German 
staggered, its pilot struck by a revolver shot. His slow 
descent to earth left his adversary in possession of the 


air. The British aeroplane, skimming and humming 
downwards amid the cheers of thousands, could well 
claim to have marked a signal instance of that personal 
ascendancy which Sir John French so emphatically 
extols, and which seems to offer chances of Great 
Britain adding the dominion of the air to her world- 
wide domain of the seas.^ 

Many instances are recorded of the successes and 
checks of that strenuous day. At one point the enemy 
were shelled out of their trenches and abandoned two 
machine guns. Fifty of them surrendered at the call 
of ten British. At another point a battalion of the 
Guards, the Camerons, and the Black Watch delivered 
in turn a fierce assault upon the German hnes. It was 
necessary to traverse about half a mile of open ground. 
They went off with a cheer. The air was full of the 
scream of shrapnel and the whistle of bullets. So hot 
and so concentrated was the fusillade that the British 
were compelled to retire with severe loss. Equally 
unsuccessful but not less heroic was a charge of the 
Welsh Regiment. That occasion was rendered memor- 
able by the gallantr^^ of the captain who, struck down 
while leading the charge and laying about him with 
an empty rifle, kept uttering dying exhortations of 
'Stick it, Welsh 1' 'Stick it,' Welsh!' His men 
were, indeed, compelled to retire over his body. But 
such was the devotion he had inspired that his soldier- 
servant, afterwards rewarded for his courage with the 
Victoria Cross, ran out about a hundred yards, exposed 
to heavy fire, to pick up and bring back to cover his 
mortally wounded captain. The energy and tenacitj^ 

^ It cannot be claimed as certain that this occurrence took place 
on September 14. Nevertheless, the evidence is sufficiently strong 
to warrant its insertion in the narrative of that day's events. 


Tvdth which they were assailed, however, prompted 
some Germans to fall back upon a base expedient. 
A white flag was seen to flutter out at one point in the 
German lines. It was the token of surrender. A body 
of the Coldstreams, Grenadiers, Irish Guards, and 
Connaughts went forward to take the prisoners. No 
sooner were they well in the open than out burst a ring 
of fire from concealed artillery. The Germans who had 
affected to surrender poured in a hot rifle fire. The 
British, caught in a trap, were cut up in face of a wither- 
ing fusillade. They perished as martyrs to the unsus- 
pecting faith of chivalry, and as victims of the most 
disgraceful form of treachery. 

It was about four o'clock in the afternoon before 
a perceptible weakening of the German counter-attacks 
and resistance indicated that a general advance might 
safely be undertaken. Sir Douglas Haig ordered his 
whole corps to push forward. The enemy still offered 
considerable opposition, and maintained very heavy 
artillery and rifle fire. It was not found possible ta 
advance far. Cemy was in possession of the Grermans. 
The day had been long and strenuous. The enemy 
had been forced back a considerable distance. The 
troops were very weary. Nevertheless, most of the 
contested ground, from the Chemin des Dames on 
the right to Chivy^ onwards, was occupied by the British 
before night fell. 

The 1st Army Corps, and particularly the 1st Division 
of that Corps, had, indeed, good reason to be satisfied 
with the result of the day's operations. They had 
gained a very considerable stretch of difficult and 
dangerous ground, covered with woods that harboured 
the infantry and concealed the artillery of the enemy. 
They had had to contest every yard, to dig trenches. 


continually, to creep forward slowly, and occasionally 
to retire. They had captured 600 prisoners and twelve 
guns. They had repulsed repeated and prolonged 
attacks. The Commander-in-Chief asserted in a dispatch 
that the advanced and commanding position they had 
won alone enabled him to maintain his ground for 
more than three weeks of very severe fighting on the 
northern bank of the Aisne. The casualties had indeed 
been severe. One brigade alone had lost three of its 
four colonels. But the captured trenches showed that 
the Germans had suffered far more heavilv. 

Oxford/. Horace Hart Printer to the University 








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(On a larger scale) 


Heligoland was originally a Danish possession ; 
its population is mainly of Frisian extraction. From 
1807 to 1890 it was held by Great Britain, having 
been seized for naval reasons, and was used as 
a naval station during the last stages of the Napo- 
leonic War. In July 1890, by the Anglo-German 
agreement, concluded between Lord Salisbury and 
General von Capri vi, it was transferred to the 
German Empire. 

The island lies in the North Sea, about 35 nautical 
miles NW. of Cuxhaven, 43 nautical miles N. of 
Wilhelmshaven, and 260 nautical miles E. by N. 
from Yarmouth. It consists of a rocky plateau, 
with an approximate area of 130 acres ; a stretch 
of excellent sand to the south-eastward made it 
a favourite summer bathing resort for the people of 
Hamburg and north-eastern Germany. The island 
is peculiar in the fact that there is an entire absence 
of wheeled traffic. 

Harbours of Heligoland 
The original, or inner, harbour of the island is 
some 400 yards long by 200 yards wide. A new, 
or outer, harbour is in process of completion ; it is 
intended to be about 900 yards long by 600 yards 
wide. The harbour is entered from the east, 


There are also two havens. The North Haven lies 
to the NE. of the island, between it and the sand- 
bank, known as Olde Hoven Brunnen ; it is im- 
possible to proceed from this haven to the harbour. 
The South Haven is ESE. of the island, between 
it and the rock of Diine. To the north of this 
haven, between it and the North Haven, there is an 
anchorage for torpedo craft, prohibited to all other 
vessels than those of the German Navy. This 
anchorage is about five cables by two cables in area, 
and has an average depth of 2 J fathoms. 

Naval Value of the Island 

Since its cession, considerable attention has been 
devoted to the island by the German x\dmiralty. 
One of the most serious difficulties with which the 
German naval administration has had to contend 
is the fact that on the North Sea coast of the empire 
there is no really satisfactory port. Hamburg and 
Bremen lie far up the rivers Elbe and Weser. The 
original naval base on the North Sea, Wilhelms- 
haven, where is an imperial dockyard, suffers from 
the fact that Jade Bay is extremely sandy ; the 
harbour can only be kept open by means of constant 
dredging. The new base, Cuxhaven, opposite the 
junction of the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal with the Elbe, 
suffers, in a slightly lesser degree, from the same 
drawback. Hence every effort has been made to 
utilize Heligoland. It has been converted into 
a base for torpedo craft and submarines, and two 
Zeppelin sheds, said to be of the ' disappearing ' 
variety, have been constructed on the island. But 


the value of Heligoland is much reduced by the 
fact that it suffers in a peculiar degree from erosion, 
and can, indeed, only be preserved from destruction 
by artificial means and at a considerable annual 
cost. The shores of the island are carefully pro- 
tected by deposits of cement, which are constantly 
washed away in westerly gales and require frequent 


Heligoland, as well as the whole North Sea coast 
of Germany, has been very carefully fortified. The 
forts are of the cupola type, built of concrete, and 
are defended by 11 -inch guns ; the statement that 
the guns are 12-inch seems to be unfounded. Theo- 
retically, both the island and the whole coast should 
be impregnable ; it is supposed that a single shot 
from one of these guns would suffice to sink any 
ship. It must, however, be remembered that the 
value of cupola forts has been somewhat discounted 
by the experiences of Namur and other places. 

Anchorage of Heligoland 

To the east of the island, immediately beyond the 
* prohibited ' anchorage, is the rock of Dune. It is 
protected by groynes, but both its area and shape 
are subject to frequent changes ; it is in reality 
little more than a sandbank, serving as the site 
for three beacons. Beyond it, eastward, there is 
an anchorage for large vessels, which is satisfactory 
in westerly winds. It is probable that this is the 
anchorage which is mentioned in the dispatches as 


having been ' examined ' on September 14, and that 
it has been utilized as a station for light cruisers. 
It is commanded by the guns of Heligoland. 

Bight of Heligoland 

The Bight of Heligoland, the scene of the opera- 
tions described in the dispatches, is to the NE. of 
the island, from which it is distant some seven 
miles. It forms a channel, with an approximate 
width of eighteen miles and an average depth of 
nine fathoms, between the shallows near Heligoland 
and the shoals off the Holstein coast. Through it 
lies the regular course for ships proceeding north- 
wards from the Elbe ports. 

British Ships Engaged 

The following are brief details of the British 
vessels, mentioned as having taken part in the 

The date signifies date of completion ; D. dis- 
placement ; C. complement ; G. guns. The speed 
given is the best recent speed, unless otherwise 

(i) Battle Cruisers 

Lion (1912 : Devonport). D. 26,350. C. 1,000. 

Sp. 31-7 kts. Guns : eight 13-5-inch ; sixteen 

Queen Mary (1913 : Clydebank). D. 27,000. C. 

1,000. Sp. 33. Guns : (as Lion). 
New Zealand (1912 : Fairfield). D. 18,750. C. 800. 

Sp. 25 (designed : her sister's best recent speed 


is 29-13). Guns : eight 12-inch ; sixteen 

Invincible (1908 : Elswick). D. 17,250. C. 750. 

Sp. 28-6. Guns : (as New Zealand). 
All these vessels possess three submerged tubes. 
Their armour is Krupp. 

(ii) Cruisers 

The cruisers mentioned are the Bacchante, Gressy, 
Euryalus, and Hogue. They were sisters. Dis- 
placement, 12,000 tons : complement, 700 (Euryalus^ 
as flagship, 745). Guns : two 9-2-inch ; twelve 
6-inch ; thirteen 12-pounders. Two submerged tubes. 
Armour, Krupp. 

The Bacchante (1902) was built at Clydebank ; 
Cressy (1901), Fairfield ; Euryalus (1903) and Hogue 
(1902), Vickers. 

Best recent speeds were : Bacchante, 19-5 kts. ; 
Cressy, 19-2 ; Euryalus, 20-3 ; Hogue, 17. 

The Hogue and Cressy, with their sister, the 
Ahoukir, were sunk by a German submarine on 
September 22. 

(iii) Light Cruisers 

Arethusa (1913). D. 3,520. C. . Sp. (de- 
signed) 30 kts. Guns : two 6-inch ; six 4-inch. 
Four tubes, above water. (Chatham.) 

Lowestoft (1914). D. 5,400. C. . Sp. (de- 
signed) 24-75. Guns : nine 6-inch ; four 3- 
pounders. Two submerged tubes. (Chatham.) 

Liverpool (1910). D.. 4,800. C. 376. Sp. (de- 
signed) 25. Guns: two 6-inch; ten 4-inch; four 


3-pounders. Two submerged tubes. Armour, 

Krupp . ( Vickers . ) 
Fearless (1913). D. 3,440. C. 320. Sp. (designed) 

25. Guns : ten 4-inch ; four 3-pounders. 

Two tubes above water. Unarmoured. (Pem- 
Amethyst (1904). D. 3,000. C. 296. Sp. 20. 

Guns : twelve 4-inch ; eight 3-pounders. Two 

tubes above water. (Elswick.) 

(iv) Destroyers 

The destroyers mentioned were : 

(a) Four of the L Class : D. 807 tons. Sp. 35. 
Armament : three 4-inch ; four tubes. (1912-13.) 
The Laurel and Liberty are White boats ; Laertes, 
Swan, Hunter & Richardson ; Laforey, Fairfield. 

(b) Two special boats of I Class, Lurcher and 
Firedrake. D. 790. C. 72. Sp. (designed) 32. 
Armament : two 4-inch ; two 12-pounders ; two 
tubes. (1911.) (Yarrow.) 

(c) Three boats. Admiralty design, I Class : 
Defender, Goshawk, and Ferret. D. (nominal) 750. 
C. 72. Armament, as Lurcher. Sp. (designed) 27. 
(1911.) Defender is a Denny boat ; Ferret, White ; 
Goshawk, Beardmore. The actual displacement 
varies slightly from the nominal ; speed in some 
cases rather above designed speed. 

(v) Special Service 

Maidstone (1911 : Scott's S. and E. Co.). Sub- 
marine depot ship. D. 3,600 tons. Sp. 14 kts. 


(vi) Submarines 

(a) D Class. Nos. 1, 2 and 8. D 1 (1907). 
D. 550-600. Maximum speed, 16-9. Tubes, 3. 
D 2 and D 8 (1910-11). D. 550-600. Maximum 
speed, 16-10. Tubes, 3. 

(b) E Class. Nos. 4 to 9. (1912.) D. 725-810. 
Sp. 16-10. Tubes, 4. 

German Ships Mentioned 

. Of the German vessels mentioned : 

(i) Mainz (1909) (Vulkan Co.). D. 4,350. C. 
362. Sp. (designed) 25-5. Guns : twelve 4-inch ; 
four 5-pounders ; four machine. Two submerged 
tubes. One of Kolherg class. 

(ii) Hela (1896 : refitted, 1910), (Weser, Bremen). 
D. 2,040. C. 178. Guns: four 15i-pounders ; 
six 6-pounders ; two machine. One submerged 
tube ; two above water. Sp. 18. Was to be 

(iii) V 187 (1909-11) (Vulkan). C. 82. Sp. 32-5. 
D. circa 650 tons. Armament : two 24-pounders ; 
three tubes. 

(iv) S 126 (1906). D. 487. Sp. 28. C. 68. 
Armament : three 4-pounders ; two machine. Three 

The four-funnelled cruiser mentioned must have 
been either one of the Breslau and Karlsruhe class, 
or one of the Boon class. The former class com- 
prises twelve vessels, four of the Breslau type, and 
eight of the Karlsruhe type (of which two were 
completed in 1913, two were due to be completed 



in the present year, two in 1915, and two later). 
Details of the Breslau class are as follows : D. 4,550. 
C. 370. Sp. (designed) 25J kts. Guns : twelve 
4-1-inch. Two submerged tubes. (The actual 
speed of these ships is above the designed speed.) 
Details of the Karlsruhe class are as follows : D. 
4,900. C. 373. Sp. (designed) 28 kts. Guns : 
twelve 4- 1-inch. Two submerged tubes. (1912-13.) 
The Boon class, containing two vessels, the Boon 
and Yorck (the latter since sunk), have : D. 9,050. 
C. 657. Sp. (designed) 21 kts. Guns: four 8-2-inch; 
ten 6-inch ; eleven 24-pounders ; four machine. 
Four submerged tubes. (1905-6.) 

Past Services of British Officers 

Some of the British officers concerned had akeady 
seen active service and gained distinctions. 

Vice-Admiral (Acting) Sir David Beatty served 
as a lieutenant on the river Nile, during the opera- 
tions of 1898, and conducted the bombardment of 
the Dongola forts. He also served as commander 
of the Barfleur at Tientsin in 1900. 

Rear- Admiral Arthur H. Christian served on the 
expedition against King Kobo of Nimby, 1895, and 
captured M'weli, the stronghold of the Arab chief 
Mburuk in the same year. 

Commodore Reginald Y. Tyrwhitt commanded 
the landing party during the disturbances at Blue- 
fields, 1894, and was thanked by the inhabitants. 

Commodore Roger J. B. Keyes served against the 
Sultan of Vitu, 1890. In the Fame, he cut out four 


Chinese destroyers, 1900, and was promoted for this 

Captain William F. Blunt was present at the 
blockade of Zanzibar, 1888-9, and also served in 
Crete, 1897-8, and in China, 1900. 

Commander Charles R. Samson served in Somali- 
land, 1902-4. He made the first flight from the 
deck of a British warship in 1912. 


Admiralty, 2lst October, 1914. 

The following despatches have been received from 
Vice-Admiral (Acting) Sir David Beatty, K.C.B., 
M.V.O., D.S.O., H.M.S, 'Lion', Rear-Admiral 
Arthur H. Christian, M.V.O., H.M.S. ' Euryalus ', 
Commodore Reginald Y. Tyrwhitt, Commodore (T.), 
H.M.S. ' Arethusa ', and Commodore Roger J. B. 
Keyes, C.B., M.V.O., Commodore (S.), reporting the 
engagement off HeUgoland on Friday, the 28th 

A memorandum by the Director of the Air 
Department, Admiralty, is annexed. 

H.M.S. ' Lion\ 

\st September, 1914. 

Sir, — I have the honour to report that on Thurs- 
day, 27th August, at 5 a.m., I proceeded with the 
First Battle Cruiser Squadron and First Light 
Cruiser Squadron in company, to rendezvous with 
the Rear-Admiral, ' Invincible '. 

At 4 a.m., 28th August, the movements of the 
Flotillas commenced as previously arranged, the 
Battle Cruiser Squadron and Light Cruiser Squadron 
supporting. The Rear-Admiral, 'Invincible', with 
* New Zealand ' and four Destroyers having joined 


my flag, the Squadron passed through the pre- 
arranged rendezvous. 

At 8.10 a.m. I received a signal from the Com- 
modore (T), informing me that the Flotilla was in 
action with the enemy. This was presumably in 
the vicinity of their prearranged rendezvous. From 
this time until 11 a.m. I remained about the vicinity 
ready to support as necessary, intercepting various 
signals, which contained no information on which 
I could act. 

Submarine Attack 

At 11 a.m. the Squadron was attacked by three 
Submarines. The attack was frustrated by rapid 
manoeuvring and the four Destroyers were ordered 
to attack them. Shortly after 11 a.m., various 
signals having been received indicating that the 
Commodore (T) and Commodore (S) were both in 
need of assistance, I ordered the Light Cruiser 
Squadron to support the Torpedo Flotillas. 

Later I received a signal from the Commodore 
(T), stating that he was being attacked by a large 
Cruiser, and a further signal informing me that he 
was being hard pressed and asking for assistance. 
The Captain (D), First Flotilla, also signalled that 
he was in need of help. 

Intervention of the Battle Cruisers 

From the foregoing the situation appeared to 
me critical. The Flotillas had advanced only ten 
miles since 8 a.m., and were only about twenty-five 
miles from two enemy bases on their flank and 


rear respectively. Commodore Goodenough had 
detached two of his Light Cruisers to assist some 
Destroyers earlier in the day, and these had not yet 
rejoined. (They rejoined at 2.30 p.m.) As the 
reports indicated the presence of many enemy ships 
— one a large Cruiser — I considered that his force 
might not be strong enough to deal with the situation 
sufficiently rapidly, so at 11.30 a.m. the Battle 
Cruisers turned to E.S.E., and worked up to full 
speed. It was evident that to be of any value the 
support must be overwhelming and carried out at 
the highest speed possible. 

I had not lost sight of the risk of Submarines, and 
possible sortie in force from the enemy's base, 
especially in view of the mist to the South-East. 

Our high speed, however, made submarine attack 
difficult, and the smoothness of the sea made their 
detection comparatively easy. I considered that we 
were powerful enough to deal with any sortie except 
by a Battle Squadron, which was unlikely to come 
out in time, provided our stroke was sufficiently 

The * Mainz ' Attacked 

At 12.15 p.m. ' Fearless ' and First Flotilla were 
sighted retiring West. At the same time the Light 
Cruiser Squadron was observed to be engaging an 
enemy ship ahead. They appeared to have her beat. 

Enemy Cruiser Engaged with Third Flotilla 

I then steered N.E. to sounds of firing ahead, and 

at 12.30 p.m. sighted ' Arethusa ' and Third Flotilla 

retiring to the Westward engaging a Cruiser of the 


' Kolberg ' class on our Port Bow. I steered to cut 
her off from Heligoland, and at 12.37 p.m. opened 
fire. At 12.42 the enemy turned to N.E., and we 
chased at 27 knots. 

' Lion ' Engaged with an Enemy Cruiser 

At 12.56 p.m. sighted and engaged a two-funnelled 
Cruiser ahead. ' Lion ' fired two salvoes at her, 
which took effect, and she disappeared into the mist, 
burning furiously and in a sinking condition. In 
view of the mist and that she was steering at high 
speed at right angles to * Lion ', who was herself 
steaming at 28 knots, the ' Lion's ' firing was very 

Our Destroyers had reported the presence of 
floating mines to the Eastward and I considered it 
inadvisable to pursue her. It was also essential that 
the Squadrons should remain concentrated, and 
I accordingly ordered a withdrawal. The Battle 
Cruisers turned North and circled to port to com- 
plete the destruction of the vessel first engaged. 

Sinking of the ' Mainz ' 

She was sighted again at 1.25 p.m. steaming S.E. 
with colours still flying. ' Lion ' opened fire with 
two turrets, and at 1.35 p.m., after receiving two 
salvoes, she sank. 

The four attached Destroyers were sent to pick 
up survivors, but I deeply regret that they subse- 
quently reported that they searched the area but 
found none. 


Submarine Attack ox ' Queen IVL^ry ' 
At 1.40 p.m. the Battle Cruisers turned to the 
Northward, and ' Queen Mary ' was agam attacked 
by a Submarine. The attack was avoided by the 
use of the helm. ' Lowestoft ' was also unsuccess- 
fully attacked. The Battle Cruisers covered the 
retirement until nightfall. By 6 p.m., the retire- 
ment having been well executed and all Destroyers 
accounted for, I altered course, spread the Light 
Cruisers, and swept northwards in accordance with 
the Commander-in-Chief's orders. At 7.45 p.m. 
I detached ' Liverpool ' to Rosyth with German 
prisoners, 7 officers and 79 men, survivors from 
' Mainz '. No further incident occurred. — I have 
the honour to be. Sir, your obedient Servant, 


Vice -Admiral. 
The Secretary of the Admiralty. 

Work of the Cruiser Force 

* Euryalus ', 

2^th September, 1914. 

Sir, — I have the honour to report that in accor- 
dance with your orders a reconnaissance in force was 
carried out in the HeHgoland Bight on the 28th 
August, with the object of attacking the enemy's 
Light Cruisers and Destroyers. 

The forces under my orders (viz., the Cruiser 
Eorce, under Rear-Admiral H. H. Campbell, C.V.O., 
* Euryalus ', ' Amethyst ', First and Third Destroyer 



Flotillas and the Submarines) took up the positions 
assigned to them on the evening of the 27th August, 
and, in accordance with directions given, proceeded 
during the night to approach the Heligoland Bight. 

Assistance Rendered to Injured Vessels 

The Cruiser Force under Rear- Admiral Campbell, 
with ' Euryalus ' (my Flagship) and ' Amethyst ', 
was stationed to intercept any enemy vessels chased 
to the westward. At 4.30 p.m. on the 28th August 
these Cruisers, having proceeded to the eastward, 
fell in with ' Lurcher ' and three other Destroyers, 
and the wounded and prisoners in these vessels were 
transferred in boats to ' Bacchante ' and ' Cressy ', 
which left for the Nore. ' Amethyst ' took ' Laurel ' 
in tow, and at 9.30 p.m. * Hogue ' was detached to 
take ' Arethusa ' in tow. This latter is referred to 
in Commodore R. Y. Tyrwhitt's report, and I quite 
concur in his remarks as to the skill and rapidity 
with which this was done in the dark with no lights 

Individual Services Mentioned 

Commodore Reginald Y. Tyrwhitt was in com- 
mand of the Destroyer Flotillas, and his report is 
enclosed herewith. His attack was delivered with 
great skill and gallantry, and he was most ably 
seconded by Captain WilUam F. Blunt, in * Fear- 
less ', and the Officers in command of the Destroyers, 
who handled their vessels in a manner worthy of the 
best traditions of the British Navy. 


Commodore Roger J. B. Keyes, in ' Lurcher ', 
had, on the 27th August, escorted some Submarines 
into positions allotted to them in the immediate 
vicinitry of the enemy's coast. On the morning of 
the 28th August, in company with ' Firedrake ', he 
searched the area to the southward of the Battle 
Cruisers for the enemy's Submarines, and subse- 
quently, having been detached, was present at the 
sinking of the German Cruiser ' Mainz ', when he 
gallantly proceeded alongside her and rescued 220 
of her crew, many of whom were wounded. Subse- 
quently he escorted ' Laurel ' and ' Liberty ' out of 
action, and kept them company till Rear-Admiral 
Campbell's Cruisers were sighted. 

As regards the Submarine Officers, I would spe- 
cially mention the names of : — 

(a) Lieutenant -Commander Ernest W. Leir. His 
coolness and resource in rescuing the crews of the 
' Goshawk's ' and ' Defender's ' boats at a critical 
time of the action were admirable. 

(h) Lieutenant-Commander Cecil P. Talbot. In 
my opinion, the bravery and resource of the Officers 
in command of Submarines since the war commenced 
are worthy of the highest commendation. 

I have the honour to be, Sir, 

Your obedient Servant, 

Rear- Admiral. 
The Secretary, Admiralty. 


Work of Destroyer Flotilla 

H.M.S. ' Lowestoft ', 
26th September, 1914. 

Sir, — I have the honour to report that at 5 a.m. on 
Thursday, 27th August, in accordance with orders 
received from Their Lordships, I sailed in ' Arethusa', 
in company with the First and Tliird Flotillas, except 
' Hornet ', ' Tigress ', ' Hydra ', and ' Loyal ', to 
carry out the prearranged operations. H.M.S. 
* Fearless ' joined the Flotillas at sea that afternoon. 

At 6.53 a.m. on Friday, 28th August, an enemy's 
Destroyer was sighted, and was chased by the 4th 
Division of the Third Flotilla. 

From 7.20 to 7.57 a.m. ' x4rethusa ' and the Third 
Flotilla were engaged with numerous Destroyers 
and Torpedo Boats which were making for Heligo- 
land ; course was altered to port to cut them off. 

Enemy Cruisers Engaged 

Two Cruisers, with 4 and 2 funnels respectively, 
were sighted on the port bow at 7.57 a.m., the nearest 
of which was engaged. ' Arethusa ' received a heavy 
fire from both Cruisers and several Destroyers until 
8. 15 a.m., when the four-funnelled Cruiser transferred 
her fire to ' Fearless '. 

Close action was continued with the two-funnelled 
Cruiser on converging courses until 8.25 a.m., when 
a 6-inch projectile from * Arethusa ' wrecked the fore 
bridge of the enemy, who at once turned away in the 
direction of Heligoland, which was sighted slightly 
on the starboard bow at about the same time. 

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All ships were at once ordered to turn to the 
westward, and shortly afterwards speed was reduced 
to 20 knots. . 

Damage doxe to the ' Arethusa ' 

During this action ' Arethusa ' had been hit many 
times, and was considerably damaged ; only one 
6-inch gun remained in action, all other guns and 
torpedo tubes having been temporarily disabled. 

Lieutenant Eric W. P. Westmacott (Signal Officer) 
was killed at my side during this action. I cannot 
refrain from adding that he carried out his duties 
calmly and collectedly, and was of the greatest 
assistance to me. 

A fire occurred opposite No. 2 gun port side caused 
by a shell exploding some ammunition, resulting in 
a terrific blaze for a short period and leaving the 
deck burning. This was very promptly dealt with 
and extinguished by Chief Petty Officer Frederick 
W. Wrench, O.N. 158630. 

The Flotillas were re-formed in Divisions and 
proceeded at 20 knots. It was now noticed that 
' Arethusa 's ' speed had been reduced. 

Sinking of an Enemy Destroyer 

' Fearless ' reported that the 3rd and 5th Divisions 
of the First Flotilla had sunk the German Commo- 
dore's Destroyer and that two boats' crews belonging 
to ' Defender ' had been left behind as our Destroyers 
had been fired upon by a German Cruiser during their 
act of mercy in saving the survivors of the German 


Engagement with Enemy Cruisers 

At 10 a.m., hearing that Commodore (S) in 

* Lurcher ' and ' Firedrake ' were being chased by 
Light Cruisers, I proceeded to his assistance Avith 
'Fearless' and the First Flotilla until 10.37 a.m., 
when, having received no news and being in the 
vicinity of Heligoland, I ordered the ships in com- 
pany to turn to the westward. 

All guns except two 4-inch were again in working 
order, and the upper deck supply of ammunition 
was replenished. 

At 10.55 a.m. a four-funnelled German Cruiser 
was sighted, and opened a very heavy fire at about 
11 o'clock. 

Our position being somewhat critical, I ordered 

* Fearless ' to attack, and the First Flotilla to 
attack with torpedoes, which they proceeded to 
do with great spirit. The Cruiser at once turned 
away, disappeared in the haze and evaded the 

About 10 minutes later the same Cruiser appeared 
on our starboard quarter. Opened fire on her with 
both 6-inch guns ; ' Fearless ' also engaged her, and 
one Division of Destroyers attacked her with tor- 
pedoes without success. 

The state of affairs and our position was then 
reported to the Admiral Commanding Battle 
Cruiser Squadron. 

We received a very severe and almost accurate 
fire from this Cruiser ; salvo after salvo was falling 
between 10 and 30 yards short, but not a single shell 


struck ; two torpedoes were also fired at us, being 
well directed, but short. 

The Cruiser was badly damaged by * Arethusas ' 
6-inch guns and a splendidly directed fire from 
' Fearless,' and she shortly afterwards turned away 
in the direction of Heligoland. 

Sinking of the ' Mainz ' 

Proceeded, and four minutes later sighted the 
three-funnelled Cruiser ' Mainz '. She endured a 
heavy fire from ' Arethusa ' and * Fearless ' and 
many Destroyers. After an action of approximately 
25 minutes she was seen to be sinking by the head, 
her engines stopped, besides being on fire. 

At this moment the Light Cruiser Squadron 
appeared, and they very speedily reduced the 
' Mainz ' to a condition which must have been 

I then recalled ' Fearless ' and the Destroyers, 
and ordered cease fire. 

We then exchanged broadsides with a large, four- 
funnelled Cruiser on the starboard quarter at long 
range, without visible effect. 

The Battle Cruiser Squadron now arrived, and 
I pointed out this Cruiser to the Admiral Command- 
ing, and was shortly afterwards informed by him 
that the Cruiser in question had been sunk and 
another set on fire. 

State of the Weather 

The weather during the day was fine, sea calm, 
but visibility poor, not more than 3 miles at any 


time when the various actions were taking place, 
and was such that ranging and spotting were 
rendered difficult. " 

Withdrawal of the Flotilla 

I then proceeded with 14 Destroyers of the Third 
Flotilla and 9 of the First Flotilla. 

* Arethusa's ' speed was about 6 knots until 7 p.m., 
when it was impossible to proceed any further, and 
fires were drawn in all boilers except two, and assis- 
tance called for. 

At 9.30 p.m. Captain Wilmot S. Nicholson, of the 
' Hogue ', took my ship in tow in a most seamanlike 
manner, and, observing that the night was pitch 
dark and the only lights showing were two small 
hand lanterns, I consider his action was one which 
deserves special notice from Their Lordships. 

I would also specially recommend Lieutenant - 
Commander Arthur P. N. Thorowgood, of ' Arethusa ', 
for the able manner he prepared the ship for being 
towed in the dark. 

H.M. Ship under my command was then towed 
to the Nore, arriving at 5 p.m. on the 29th August. 
Steam was then available for slow speed, and the 
ship was able to proceed to Chatham under her 
own steam. 

Individual Services 
I beg again to call attention to the services 
rendered by Captain W. F. Blunt, of H.M.S. ' Fear- 
less ', and the Commanding Officers of the Destroyers 
of the First and Third Flotillas, whose gallant attacks 


on the Grerman Cruisers at critical moments mi- 
doubtedly saved ' Arethusa ' from more severe 
punishment and possible capture. 

I cannot adequately express my satisfaction and 
pride at the spirit and ardour of my Officers and 
Ship's Company, who carried out their orders with 
the greatest alacrity under the most trying conditions, 
especially in view of the fact that the ship, newly 
built, had not been 48 hours out of the Dockyard 
before she was in action. 

It is difficult to specially pick out individuals, but 
the following came under my special observation : — 

H.M.S. 'Arethusa'. 

Lieutenant-Commander Arthur P. N. Thorowgood, 
First Lieutenant, and in charge of the After Control. 

Lieutenant -Commander Ernest K. Arbuthnot (G.), 
in charge of the Fore Control. 

Sub -Lieutenant CHve A. Robinson, who worked 
the range-finder throughout the entire action with 
extraordinary coolness. 

Assistant Paymaster Kenneth E. Badcock, my 
Secretary, who attended me on the bridge through- 
out the entire action. 

Mr. James D. Godfrey, Gunner (T), who was in 
charge of the torpedo tubes. 

The following men were specially noted : — 

Armourer Arthur F. Hayes, O.N. 342026 (Ch.). 

Second Sick Berth Steward George Trolley, O.N. 
M.296 (Ch.). 

Chief Yeoman of Signals Albert Fox, O.N. 194656 
(Po.), on fore bridge during entire action. 

Chief Petty Officer Frederick W. Wrench, O.N. 
158630 (Ch.) (for ready resource in extinguishing fire 
caused by explosion of cordite). 


Private Thomas Millington, K. M.L.I. , No. Ch. 

Private WiUiam J. Beirne, R.M.L.I., No. Ch. 

First Writer Albert W. Stone, O.N. 346080 (Po.). 

I also beg to record the services rendered by the 
following Officers and Men of H.M. Ships under my 
orders : — 

HM,S. 'Fearless'. 

Mr. Robert M. Taylor, Gmmer, for coolness in 
action under heavy fire. 

The following Officers also displayed great resource 
and energy in effecting repairs to ' Fearless ' after 
her return to harbour, and they were ably seconded 
by the whole of their staffs : — 

Engineer Lieutenant-Commander Charles de F. 

Mr. WiUiam Morrissey, Carpenter. 

H.M.S. 'Goshawk'. 
Commander The Hon. Herbert Meade, who took 
his Division into action with great coolness and nerve, 
and was instrumental in sinking the German De- 
stroyer ' V.187 ', and, with the boats of his Division, 
saved the survivors in a most chivalrous manner. 

H.M.S. 'Ferret'. 
Commander Geoffrey Mackworth, who, with his 
Division, most gallantly seconded Commander Meade 
of ' Goshawk '. 

H.M.S. ' Laertes '. 

Lieutenant-Commander Malcolm L. Goldsmith, 
whose ship was seriously damaged, taken in tow, and 
towed out of action by ' Fearless '. 

Engineer Lieutenant-Commander Alexander Hill, 
for repairing steering gear and engines under fire. 


Sub -Lieutenant George H. Faulkner, who con- 
tinued to fight his gun after being wounded. 

Mr. Charles Powell, Acting Boatswain, O.N. 
209388, who was gunlayer of the centre gun, which 
made many hits. He behaved very coolly, and set 
a good example when getting in tow and clearing 
away the wreckage after the action. 

Edward Naylor, Petty Officer, Torpedo Gunner's 
Mate, O.N. 189136, who fired a torpedo which the 
Commanding Officer of ' Laertes ' reports undoubt- 
edly hit the ' Mainz ', and so helped materially to put 
her out of action. 

Stephen Pritchard, Stoker Petty Officer, O.N. 
285152, who very gallantly dived into the cabin flat 
immediately after a shell had exploded there, and 
worked a fire hose. 

Frederick Pierce, Stoker Petty Officer, O.N. 
307943, who was on watch in the engine room and 
behaved with conspicuous coolness and resource 
when a shell exploded in No. 2 boiler. 

H.M.S. 'Laurel'. 

Commander Frank F. Rose, who most ably com- 
manded his vessel throughout the early part of the 
action, and after having been wounded in both legs, 
remained on the bridge until 6 p.m., displaying great 
devotion to duty. 

Lieutenant Charles R. Peploe, First Lieutenant, 
who took command after Commander Rose was 
wounded, and continued the action till its close, 
bringing his Destroyer out in an able and gallant 
manner under most trying conditions. 

Engineer Lieutenant-Commander Edward H. T. 
Meeson, who be hatred with great coolness during the 
action, and steamed the ship out of action, although 
she had been very severely damaged by explosion 
of her own lyddite, by which the after funnel was 


nearly demolished. He subsequently assisted to 
carry out repairs to the vessel. 

Sam Palmer, Leading Seaman (G.L. 2) O.N. 
179529, who continued to fight his gun until the end 
of the action, although severely wounded in the leg. 

Albert Edmund Sellens, Able Seaman (L.T.O.), 
O.N. 217245, who was stationed at the fore torpedo 
tubes ; he remained at his post throughout the entire 
action, although wounded in the arm, and then 
rendered first aid in a very able manner before being 
attended to himself. 

George H. Sturdy, Chief Stoker, O.N. 285547, and 

Alfred Britton, Stoker Petty Officer, O.N. 289893, 
who both showed great coolness in putting out a fire 
near the centre gun after an explosion had occurred 
there ; several lyddite shells were lying in the imme- 
diate vicinity. 

William R. Boiston, Engine Room Artificer, 3rd 
class, O.N. M. 1369, who showed great ability and cool- 
ness in taking charge of the after boiler room during 
the action, when an explosion blew in the after 
funnel and a shell carried away pipes and seriously 
damaged the main steam pipe. i 

Wmiam H. Gorst, Stoker Petty Officer, O.N.305616. 

Edward Crane, Stoker Petty Officer, O.N. 307275. 

Harry Wilfred Hawkes, Stoker 1st class, O.N. 
K. 12086. 

John W. Bateman, Stoker 1st class, O.N. K. 12100. 

These men were stationed in the after boiler room 
and conducted themselves with great coolness during 
the action, when an explosion blew in the after 
funnel, and shell carried away pipes and seriously 
damaged the main steam pipe. 

H.M.S. 'Liberty'. 
The late Lieutenant-Commander Nigel K. W. 
Barttelot commanded the ' Liberty ' with great skill 
and gallantry throughout the action. He was a 


most promising and able Officer, and I consider his 
death is a great loss to the Navy. 

Engineer Lieutenant-Commander Frank A. Butler, 
who showed much resource in effecting repairs during 
the action. 

Lieutenant Henry E. Horan, First Lieutenant, 
who took command after the death of Lieutenant- 
Commander Barttelot, and brought his ship out of 
action in an extremely able and gallant manner under 
most trying conditions. 

Mr. Harry Morgan, Gunner (T), who carried out 
his duties with exceptional coolness under fire. 

Chief Petty Officer James Samuel Beadle, O.N. 
171735, who remained at his post at the wheel for 
over an hour after being wounded in the kidneys. 

John Galvin, Stoker Petty Officer, O.N. 279946, 
who took entire charge, under the Engineer Officer, 
of the party who stopped leaks, and accomplished 
his task although working up to his chest in water. 

H.M.S. 'Laforey\ 

Mr. Ernest Roper, Chief Gunner, who carried out 
his duties with exceptional coolness under fire. 

I have the honour to be. Sir, 
Your obedient Servant, 


Commodore (T). 

Work of Submarines since the Outbreak 
OF War 

H.M.S. ' Maidstone ', 

17^^ October, 1914. 

Sir, — Li compliance with Their Lordships' direc- 
tions, I have the honour to report as follows upon 


the services performed by Submarines since the 
commencement of hostilities : — 

Reconnaissance in Heligoland Bight 

Three hours after the outbreak of war, Submarines 
* E.6 ' (Lieutenant-Commander Cecil P. Talbot), and 
' E.8 ' (Lieutenant-Commander Francis H. H. Good- 
hart), proceeded unaccompanied to carry out a 
reconnaissance in the Heligoland Bight. These two 
vessels returned with useful information, and had 
the privilege of being the pioneers on a service which 
is attended by some risk. 

Protection of Transports 

During the transportation of the Expeditionary 
Force the ' Lurcher ' and ' Firedrake ' and all the 
Submarines of the Eighth Submarine Flotilla occu- 
pied positions from which they could have attacked 
the High Sea Fleet, had it emerged to dispute the 
passage of our transports. This patrol was main- 
tained day and night without relief, until the per- 
sonnel of our Army had been transported and all 
chance of effective interference had disappeared. 

Operations on the German Coast 

These Submarines have since been incessantly 
employed on the Enemy's Coast in the Heligoland 
Bight and elsewhere, and have obtained much 
valuable information regarding the composition and 
movement of his patrols. They have occupied his 
waters and reconnoitred his anchorages, and, while 
so engaged, have been subjected to skilful and well- 


executed anti-submarine tactics ; hunted for hours 
at a time by Torpedo Craft and attacked by gunfire 
and torpedoes. 

Engagement off Heligoland 

At midnight on the 26th August, I embarked in 
the ' Lurcher ', and, in company with ' Firedrake ' 
and Submarines ' D.2 ', ' D.8 ', ' E.4 ', ' E.5 ', ' E.6 ', 
' E.7 ', ' E.8 ', and ' E.9 ' of the Eighth Submarine 
Flotilla, proceeded to take part in the operations in 
the Heligoland Bight arranged for the 28th August. 
The Destroyers scouted for the Submarines until 
nightfall on the 27th, when the latter proceeded 
independently to take up various positions from 
which they could co-operate with the Destroyer 
Flotillas on the following morning. 

At daylight on the 28th August the ' Lurcher ' and 
' Firedrake ' searched the area, through which the 
Battle Cruisers were to advance, for hostile Sub- 
marines, and then proceeded towards Heligoland in 
the wake of Submarines ' E.6 ', ' E.7 ', and ' E.8 ', 
which were exposing themselves with the object of 
inducing the enemy to chase them to the westward. 

State op the Weather 
On approaching Heligoland, the visibility, which 
had been very good to seaward, reduced to 5,000 to 
6,000 yards, and this added considerably to the 
anxieties and responsibilities of the Commanding 
Officers of Submarines, who handled their vessels 
with coolness and judgment in an area which was 
necessarily occupied by friends as well as foes. 


Low visibility and calm sea are the most unfavour- 
able conditions under which Submarines can operate, 
and no opportunity occurred of closing with the 
Enemy's Cruisers to within torpedo range. 

Sinking of * V.187 ' 
Lieutenant-Commander Ernest W. Leir, Com- 
manding Submarine ' E.4 ', witnessed the sinking 
of the German Torpedo Boat Destroyer 'V.187' 
through his periscope, and, observing a Cruiser of the 
* Stettin ' class close, and open fire on the British 
Destroyers which had lowered their boats to pick up 
the survivors, he proceeded to attack the Cruiser, 
but she altered course before he could get within 
range. After covering the retirement of our De- 
stroyers, which had had to abandon their boats, he 
returned to the latter, and embarked a Lieutenant 
and nine men of ' Defender ', who had been left 
behind. The boats also contained two Officers and 
eight men of ' V.187 ', who were un wounded, and 
eighteen men who were badly wounded. As he 
could not embark the latter, Lieutenant-Commander 
Leir left one of the Ofl&cers and six unwounded men 
to navigate the British boats to Heligoland. Before 
leaving he saw that they were provided with water, 
biscuit, and a compass. One German Officer and 
two men were made prisoners of war. 

Individual Services 
Lieutenant-Commander Leir's action in remaining 
on the surface in the vicinity of the enemy and in 
a visibility which would have placed his vessel within 


easy gun range of an enemy appearing out of the 
mist, was altogether admirable. 

This enterprising and gallant Officer took part in 
the reconnaissance which supplied the information 
on which these operations were based, and I beg to 
submit his name, and that of Lieutenant-Commander 
Talbot, the Commanding Officer of ' E.6 ', who 
exercised patience, judgment and skill in a dangerous 
position, for the favourable consideration of Their 

Sinking of the ' Hela ' 

On the 13th September, ' E.9 ' (Lieutenant-Com- 
mander Max K. Horton) torpedoed and sank the 
German Light Cruiser ' Hela ' six miles South of 

A number of Destroyers were evidently called to 
the scene after ' E.9 ' had delivered her attack, and 
these hunted her for several hours. 

Examination of the Heligoland Anchorage 

On the 14th September, in accordance with his 
orders, Lieutenant-Commander Horton examined 
the outer anchorage of Heligoland, a service attended 
by considerable risk. 

On the 25th September, Submarine ' E.6 ' (Lieu- 
tenant-Commander C. P. Talbot), while diving, 
fouled the moorings of a mine laid by the enemy. 
On rising to the surface she weighed the mine and 
sinker ; the former was securely fixed between the 
hydroplane and its guard ; fortunately, however, 
the horns of the mine were pointed outboard. The 


weight of the sinker made it a difficult and dangerous 
matter to hft the mine clear without exploding it. 
After half an hour's patient work this was effected 
by Lieutenant Frederick A. P. WiUiams-Freeman 
and Able Seaman Ernest Randall Cremer, Official 
Number 214235, and the released mine descended 
to its original depth. 

Sinking of ' S.126 ' 

On the 6th October, ' E.9 ' (Lieutenant-Com- 
mander Max K. Horton), when patrolling off the 
Ems, torpedoed and sank the enemy's destroyer, 
' S.126.' 

The enemy's Torpedo Craft pursue tactics which; 
in connection with their shallow draft, make them 
exceedingly difficult to attack with torpedo, and 
Lieutenant-Commander Horton's success was the 
result of much patient and skilful zeal. He is a most 
enterprising submarine officer, and I beg to submit 
his name for favourable consideration. 

Lieutenant Charles M. S. Chapman, the Second 
in Command of ' E.9 ', is also deserving of credit. 

Difficulties of the Submarine Work 
Against an enemy whose capital vessels have 
never, and Light Cruisers have seldom, emerged from 
their fortified harbours, opportunities of delivering 
Submarine attacks have necessarily been few, and 
on one occasion only, prior to the 13th September, 
has one of our Submarines been within torpedo 
range of a Cruiser during dayUght hours. 

During the exceptionally heavy westerly gales 



which prevailed between the 14th and 21st Septem- 
ber, the position of the Submarines on a lee shore, 
within a few miles of the Enemy's coast, was an 
unpleasant one. 

The short steep seas which accompany westerly 
gales in the Heligoland Bight made it difficult to 
keep the conning tower hatches open. There was 
no rest to be obtained, and even when cruising at 
a depth of 60 feet, the Submarines were roUing con- 
siderably, and pumping — i.e.y vertically moving 
about twenty feet. 

I submit that it was creditable to the Commanding 
Officers that they should have maintained their 
stations under such conditions. 

Eagerness to Serve in the Bight 
Service in the Hehgoland Bight is keenly sought 
after by the Commanding Officers of the Eighth Sub- 
marine Flotilla, and they have aU shown daring and 
enterprise in the execution of their duties. These 
Officers have unanimously expressed to me their 
admiration of the cool and gallant behaviour of the 
Officers and men under their command. They are, 
however, of the opinion that it is impossible to 
single out individuals when all have performed their 
duties so admirably, and in this I concur. 

Submarines Engaged 

The following Submarines have been in contact 
with the enemy during these operations : — 

* D.l ' (Lieutenant -Commander Archibald D. 


' D.2 ' (Lieutenant-Commander Arthur G. Jame- 

' D.3 ' (Lieutenant-Commander Edward C. Boyle). 
' D.5 ' (Lieutenant-Commander Godfrey Herbert). 
' E.4 ' (Lieutenant-Commander Ernest W. Leir). 

* E.5 ' (Lieutenant-Commander Charles S. Ben- 

* E.6 ' (Lieutenant-Commander Cecil P. Talbot). 

* E.7 ' (Lieutenant-Commander Ferdinand E. B. 

* E.9 ' (Lieutenant-Commander Max K. Horton). 

I have the honour to be, Sir, 
Your obedient Servant, 

(Signed) ROQER KEYES, 

Commodore (S). 


Commander Charles R. Samson, R.N., was in 
command of the Aeroplane and Armoured Motor 
Support of the Royal Naval Air Service (Naval 
Wing) at Dunkerque, between the dates 1st Septem- 
ber to 5th October. 

Aeroplane Skirmishes in September 

During this period several notable air recon- 
naissances were made, and skirmishes took place. 
Of these particular mention may be made of the 


Aeroplane attack on 4th September on 4 enemy cars 
and 40 men, on which occasion several bombs were 
dropped ; and of the successful skirmishes at Cassel 
on 4th September, Savy on 12th September, Aniche 
on 22nd September, Orchies on 23rd September. 

Attack on Dusseldorf (Sept. 22) 

On the 22nd September, Flight Lieutenant C. H. 
Collet, of the Royal Naval Air Service (Naval Wing 
of the Royal Flying Corps), flying a Sopwith tractor 
biplane, made a long flight and a successful attack on 
the German Zeppelin Airship Shed at Diisseldorf. 

Lieutenant Collet's feat is notable — gliding down 
from 6,000 feet, the last 1,500 feet in mist, he finally 
came in sight of the Airship Shed at a height of 
400 feet, only a quarter of a mile away from it. 

Attack on Dusseldorf (Oct. 8) 

Flight Lieutenant Marix, acting under the orders 
of Squadron Commander Spenser Grey, carried out 
a successful attack on the Diisseldorf airship shed 
during the afternoon of the^Sth October. From 
a height of 600 feet he dropped two bombs on the 
shed, and flames 500 feet high were seen within 
thirty seconds. The roof of the shed was also 
observed to collapse. 

Lieutenant Marix's machine was under heavy fire 
from rifles and mitrailleuse and was five times hit 
whilst making the attack. 


Flight to Cologne 

Squadron Commander Spenser Grey, whilst in 
charge of a flight of naval aeroplanes at Antwerp, 
penetrated during a 3f hours' flight into the enemy's 
country as far as Cologne on the 8th October. He 
circled the city under fire at 600 feet and discharged 
his bombs on the military railway station. Con- 
siderable damage was done. 

11th October, 1914. 


Oxford : Horace Hart Printer to the University 








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In 1912 Dr. Pearce Higgins published a book entitled 
War and the Private Citizen (London : P. S. King & Son) 
which has been highly praised by lawyers but is less 
known to the general public than it should be. By 
his courtesy and that of Messrs. P. S. King & Son, we 
are able to reprint from that book some pages which 
are specially interesting and instructive at the present 

H. W. C. D. 



War is not a condition of anarchy ; contests between 
States are regulated by the laws of war, and much has 
been done in recent times to bring about a uniformity 
in regard to the legitimate practices of war. The 
Instructions issued to the United States armies in 
1863, which were prepared by Dr. Francis Lieber, mark 
an important stage in the movement towards a more 
complete statement of these rules. They were issued 
again without modification for the government of the 
armies of the United States during the war with Spain 
in 1898.1 They were of considerable value to the Con- 
ference at Brussels in 1874, when an attempt was made 
to obtain a declaration of the laws of land warfare 
acceptable to the Powers of the world. The Brussels 
Conference did not succeed in this, but the Declaration 
which it drafted was in nearly all its essentials accepted 
by the First Hague Conference in 1899, and is the 
basis of the ' Regulations ' annexed to the Convention 
on the Laws and Customs of War on land. These Regu- 
lations were amended by the Second Hague Conference 
in 1907, and the Convention to which they are annexed 
has been signed by nearly all the Powers in the world. ^ 

^ G. B. Davis, Elements of International Law, p. 505. 

* For texts of these Conventions see A. Pearce Higgins, The Hagve 
Peace Conferences, pp. 206-72 ; for the Brussels Draft Declaration 
(with cross-references to the Hague Regulations) see ibid., p. 273. 


The object of these Regulations was strikingly put by 
the distinguished Russian Plenipotentiary and Publicist, 
M. de Martens. They are, he said, to provide Statutes 
for a Mutual Insurance Society against the abuse of force 
in time of war, with the object of safeguarding the 
interests of populations against the greatest disasters 
that could happen to the ordinary populations in time 
of war. The emphasis laid on their importance in regard 
to the civilian population is noteworthy. The Powers 
who are parties to the Convention agree to issue to 
their armed forces instructions which shall be in con- 
formity with the Regulations (Art. 1), and any bel- 
ligerent party which violates their provisions is liable 
to make compensation, and is responsible for all acts 
committed by persons forming part of its armed forces 
(Art. 3). 

Besides the Regulations annexed to the Hague Con- 
ventions, the Geneva Conventions of 1864 and 1906 — 
to which also nearly all States are parties — ^regulate 
the treatment of the sick and wounded in land warfare, 
and a Convention entered into at the Hague Conference 
of 1907 applies the same principles to naval warfare. 

International agreements, however, form only a part 
of International Law, and the preamble to the Conven- 
tion on the laws and customs of war on land recognizes 
the incompleteness of its provisions, and states that 
until a more complete code of the laws of war can be 
issued, the High Contracting Parties think it expedient 
to declare that ' in cases not included in the Regulations 
adopted by them, populations and belligerents remain 
under the protection and the rule of the principles of 
the law of nations as they result from the usages estab- 
lished between civilized nations, from the laws of hu- 
manity and the dictates of the public conscience '. The 



Avritten laws of war must therefore be supplemented 
by the rules of customary International Law, the evi- 
dence of which is to be sought in the works of Inter- 
national lawyers, while the facts on which those rules 
are based are to be found in historical, judicial, and 
diplomatic records. AU of these rules are to be ob- 
served in the spirit of humanity, which prohibits the 
infliction of needless suffering to individuals and mere 
wanton destruction of property, and to be enforced 
with the knowledge that the enhghtened conscience of 
the world demands their observance in a spirit of good 
faith and honourable adherence to international agree- 
ments. Recent wars testify to the restraining force 
of the rules of International Law. 

One fundamental principle on which I wish to lay 
great emphasis stands out from what has just been said, 
and it is this, that all is not fair in war. The interna- 
tional conventions I have referred to, and the usages 
of nations for a century past, prove conclusively the 
falsity of the popular saying. Great restrictions have 
been imposed on the unlimited power of a belligerent 
in regard both to the combatant and non-combatant 
members of the enemy state. The rule that ' the right 
of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is 
not unlimited ' ^ has received almost universal acceptance. 
The amount of violence which is permitted to a bel- 
ligerent by the laws of war is that which is necessary 
to enable him to attain the object desired, and the 
natural end of the art of war, says Clausewitz, the 
great master of strategy, is the complete overthrow of 
the enemy. In other words, a belligerent who wishes 
to bring his war to a successful termination may 
bring such pressure to bear on his adversary — that is, 
^ Article 22 of tho Hague Regulations for Land Warfare. 


primarily on the armed forces of his adversary, but 
incidentally and often directly also on the civilian popu- 
lation — as will bring about the complete submission 
of the enemy as quickly as possible, and with the 
smallest possible expenditure of blood and treasure. 
' War means fighting,' said the great Confederate 
General Stonewall Jackson. ' The business of the 
soldier is to fight. Armies are not called out to dig 
trenches, to throw up breastworks, to live in camps, 
but to find the enemy and to strike him ; to invade 
his country and do all possible damage in the shortest 
time. This will involve great destruction of life and 
property while it lasts, but such a war will of necessity 
be of brief duration, and so would be an economy of 
life and property in the end. To move swiftly, strike 
vigorously, and secure all the fruits of victory is the 
secret of successful war.' ^ And these views were more 
concisely stated by the American Instructions : ' The 
more vigorously wars are pursued, the better it is for 
humanity. Sharp wars are brief.' But all this must 
be subject to the qualification that it be done in accor- 
dance with the rules of International Law, both custo- 
mary and conventional, rules which have come into 
being chiefly under the guidance of military comman- 
ders themselves, and have been dictated by the necessity 
for the due maintenance of discipline, by humanitj^ and 
regard for the public opinion of the civilized world. 
' Men who take up arms against one another in public 
war do not cease on this account to be moral beings, 
responsible to one another, and to God.' ^ 

^ G. E. R. Henderson, Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil 
War, vol. i, p. 176. 
* Article 16 of United [States 'Instructions'. 



It is the modern practice when an army invades the 
enemy's territory, for the commander to issue a procla- 
mation addressed to the inhabitants annomicing that 
he is making war only against the soldiers and not 
against private citizens, and that so long as the latter 
remain neutral, and make no hostile attempts against 
his troops, he will, as far as possible, spare them the 
horrors of war, and permit them to continue to enjoy 
security for person and property. It is one of the 
greatest triumphs of civilization to have brought about 
the distinction between the treatment of combatants 
and non-combatants. Private citizens are no longer 
murdered, enslaved, or carried off to distant parts, nor 
exposed to every kind of disturbance of private rela- 
tions. The credit for this alteration of treatment is 
due in the j&rst place to belligerent commanders them 
selves, for they alone had and have the power to enforce 
the rules which have grown up ameliorating the con- 
dition of the peaceful citizen. Self-interest has played 
a by no means unimportant part in bringing about this 
change ; commanders discovered that by giving pro- 
tection to the civilian population, by buying their pro- 
visions instead of plundering them wholesale, better 
discipline was preserved among their own troops, and 
greater freedom for their operations was ensured. Yet 
even now the lot of the private citizen in an invaded 
territory is far from being a happy one. 

In order that the civilian population may receive 
such improved treatment it must remain strictly non- 
combatant and refrain from all intermeddling in hos- 
tilities. Full belligerent rights are accorded (1) to the 
armed forces of the belligerent State, including under 


this designation those in the regular army, vohmteers, 
territorial troops, and such irregular troops as comply 
with the requirements of the first Article of the Hague 
Regulations. These conditions are that such forces 
{a) must have at their head a person responsible for his 
subordinates ; (b) they must have a fixed, distinctive 
sign recognizable at a distance ; (c) must carry arms 
openly ; and (d) conform in their operations to the laws 
and customs of war. The armed forces complying with 
thege requirements (some of which, especially the use of 
a distinctive sign, are equivocal) always have attached 
to them a certain number of non-combatants to whom 
also belligerent rights are granted, such as telegraphists, 
veterinary surgeons, canteen-contractors, and others. 
They fight if necessary, and should be included under 
the term combatants, though Article 3 of the Hague 
Regulations designates them as non-combatants. 

Belligerent rights are also granted (2) to the popula- 
tion which rises in arms at the approach of an invading 
army in an unoccupied territory ; such persons if they 
take up arms spontaneously in order to resist the in- 
vading troops, without having had time to organize in 
conformity with the first Article of the Regulations, are 
to be considered as lawful belligerents if (a) they carry 
arms openly and (b) observe the laws and customs of war. 
This recognition of the right of a whole population to 
rise en masse and defend itself against an approaching 
invader was obtained only after strenuous contention 
on the part of Great Britain and some of the smaller 
States of Europe. For the gTeat military Powers which 
have adopted universal military service in some form 
or another, the question of granting this recognition 
had not the importance that it possesses for other 
States such as our own, where the great mass of the 


manhood of the nation has received no military training. 
As it is, the Article still seems defective. There will 
remain the difficulty of distinguishing between such 
levies en masse and sporadic outbreaks in unoccupied 
districts in the absence of a commander responsible for 
the acts of his subordinates. The German General Staff, 
in its official work on the laws of land warfare, states 
that the demand for subordination to responsible heads, 
for a military organization, and for distinctive marks, 
cannot be given up without engendering a strife of indi- 
vidual against individual which would be a far worse 
calamity than anything likely to result from the re- 
striction of combatant privileges. ^ This question is by 
no means settled. One fact, however, is clear: the 
belligerent character only attaches where the rising is 
one of considerable dimensions. Cases of isolated de- 
fence by individuals of their homes are left outside 
these regulations. The citizen who committed acts of 
hostility without belonging to a force complying with 
the requirements of the Hague Regulations would find 
himself dealt with as severely as was Mr. Browne in 
An Englishman's Home, who for defending his house 
against the invaders of the ' Nearland ' Army, was taken 
and put to death before it. Men and squads of men 
not under strict discipline, not forming part of the army 
or of a levy en masse ^ at the approach of the invaders, 
who commit hostile acts with intermitting returns to 
their homes and vocations, divesting themselves of the 
character or appearance of soldiers, have no cause for 
complaint of an infringement of the laws of war if when 
they are caught they are denied belligerent rights, and 
put to death. 

^ Kriegsbrauch im Landkriege, pp. 7-8; J. M. Spaight, War Rights 
on Land, p. 55. 


None of the Regulations referred to affect the treat- 
ment of risings by the inhabitants in territories occu- 
pied by the invading army. The customary rule of 
International Law is that all such persons are liable to 
the severest penalties. 'War rebels,' says Article 85 
of the American Instructions, ' are persons within an 
occupied territory who rise in arms against the occu- 
pying or conquering army or against the authorities 
established by the same. If captured, they may suffer 
death, whether they rise singly, in small or large bands, 
or whether called upon to do so by their own, but 
expelled. Government or not.' ^ 

There is, however, another case in which private citi- 
zens have often been granted the rights of belligerents, 
(3) namely, where they have assisted the army of 
defence of a besieged town. The historic defence of 
Saragossa, in which even the women assisted the gunners, 
and the more recent defence of Plevna, afford examples 
of such treatment. 

So long therefore as non-combatants refrain from 
direct participation in the war they are immune from 
direct violence, but they are liable to personal injuries 
which may result from the military operations of the 
armed forces of the belligerents. Among such opera- 
tions are bombardments which accompany the sieges 
of defended towns. The Hague Regulations lay down 
certain rules for the general guidance of officers in 
conducting sieges. The attack or bombardment by any 
means whatever — ^this includes dropping shells from 

^ Of the treatment by the Italians of the Arabs in the Oasis of 
Tripoli in October, 1911, I say nothing, as there appears at present 
to be a hopeless contradiction in the reports in the press. There 
seems, however, to have been a rising in occupied territory, which is 
always severely dealt with. 



balloons and airships — of undefended towns, villages, 
dwellings or buildings is forbidden (Art. 25). The com- 
mander of the troops attacking a defended town before 
commencing a bombardment, except in the case of 
assault, must do all that lies in his power to give warning 
to the authorities (Art. 26). In sieges and bombard- 
ments, every precaution is to be taken to spare, as 
much as possible, buildings devoted to religion, art, 
science, and charity, historic monuments, and hospitals 
and places where the sick and wounded are collected, 
provided that they are not used at the same time for 
military purposes. The besieged is to indicate these 
buildings or places by some special visible sign, which 
is to be previously notified to the assailants (Art. 27).^ 
The pillage of a town or place, even when taken by 
assault, is prohibited (Art. 28). This last prohibition 
marks a great advance in the customs of war, and with 
one or two exceptions due to special circumstances has 
been well observed in modern times. 

The siege and bombardment of a town is an operation 
of war which bears most cruelly on the ordinary civilian 
population ; the private citizens who are living in their 
own homes and who generally are not allowed to leave, 
even if they should wish to do so, are subject to all the 
dangers of falling shot and shell, and not infrequently 
their houses are directly bombarded by the assailant 
in order to bring pressure to bear on the commander of 
the besieged town so that he may be induced, by the 

^ In case of bombardment by naval forces there is a similar in- 
junction to the commandant to spare such places. The duty of the 
inhabitants is to indicate these buildings by special signs consisting 
of large, rectangular rigid panels, divided along one of their diagonals 
into two coloured triangles, black above and white below. 9.H. C, 
1907, Art. 5. (See Hague Peace Conferences, p. 356.) 


sufferings of the inhabitants, to surrender. It must be 
noticed that it is only undefended towns which may not 
be bombarded. The distinction is not between fortified 
and unfortified places. Modem engineering skill has 
shown the futility of endeavouring to draw such a dis- 
tinction. Plevna, till Osman Pacha threw himself into 
it with his army, was as open a town as any English 
country-town to-day. Ladysmith, Mafeking, and Kim- 
berley were all unfortified till the British troops took in 
hand their defences. 

The injury which may be inflicted on private citizens 
by bombardments may be illustrated by the bombard- 
ment of Strasburg by the Germans in 1870, when 448 
private houses were utterly destroyed, nearly 3,000 out 
of a total of 5,150 were more or less injured, 1,700 civi- 
lians were killed or wounded, and 10,000 persons ren- 
dered homeless ; the total damage to the city was esti- 
mated at nearly £8,000,000.^ The great damage done 
to Strasburg was chiefly due to the fact that the forts 
and ramparts were so close to the town that they could 
not be shelled without damaging the houses, but there 
appears to be little doubt that the bombardment was, 
at times, intentionally directed against the private 
houses with a view of bringing pressure to bear on the 
civilian population. Such a practice — attacking those 
who cannot defend themselves — certainly appears to be 
contrary to the principle of modern warfare, and bom- 
bardments to produce psychological pressure cannot be 
excused, says Hall, and can only be accounted for as 
a* survival from the practices which were formerly re- 
garded as permissible, and which to a certain extent 
lasted till the beginnmg of the nineteenth century. 

* J. M. Spaight, op. cit., p. 162; H. M. Rozier, Franco-Prassian 
War, vol. ii, p. 71. 


' For the present ', he adds, ' it is sanctioned by usage \^ 
and in every war since 1870, whether by inevitable 
accident or design, considerable damage has been done 
to the persons and property of ordinary peaceful citizens. 
With the progress of aeronautics we shall probably 
see a further terror added to war, as it seems that in the 
future Tennyson's prophecy will be fulfilled in which the 
Poet : 

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rained 

a ghastly dew 
From the nation's airy navies grappling in the central 


With the exception of Great Britain, no great European 
Power has ratified the Declaration agreed to at the 
Hague Conference in 1907, which prohibits, till the 
close of the Third Peace Conference, the discharge of 
projectiles and explosives from balloons and airships.^ 
It is, in my opinion, a lamentable commentary on the 
humanitarian sentiments so freely expressed by the 
delegates at this Conference, that this splendid oppor- 
tunity of making a beginning in the limitation of 
military budgets, the increase of which they all so loudly 
deplored, was thus lost. 

Before leaving the subject of bombardments, a few 
words are necessary in regard to the question of allowing 

* op. cit., p. 537. 

* See Hague Peace Conferences, pp. 482-91. All the Powers 
have agreed that undefended towns, &c., are free from bombard- 
ments * by any means whatsoever ', which words were inserted to 
include the discharge of projectiles from airships (see Hague Peace 
Conferences, p. 490, and Note 4 on the same page as regards bom- 
bardments by naval forces). Though Great Britain has ratified 
the Declaration against discharging projectiles from balloons, this 
is only binding in case of war with other Powers signatory of 
the same Declaration. 


what are called ' useless mouths ' (les bouches inutiles) — 
that is, old men, women, and children — ^to leave a 
besieged town. The Hague Eegulations are silent on 
the point. The notice which a commander is required 
to give before bombardment — though no period of delay 
is fixed — ^is some protection for the non-combatants, 
and such notice is clearly demanded by every require- 
ment of humanity so as to enable some measures to be 
taken for the protection of the civilian population, 
especially women and children ; but beyond this the 
Regulations are silent. There is no obligation imposed 
on the besieger, either by the written or unwritten laws 
of war, to allow any portion of the population to leave 
a besieged place even when a bombardment is about 
to commence. ' When the commander of a besieged 
place expels the non-combatants, in order to lessen the 
number of those who consume his stock of provisions, 
it is lawful, though an extreme measure, to drive them 
back, so as to hasten on the surrender,' ^ and instances 
of this have occurred in modern times. The whole 
matter is solely one for the commander of the besieging 
force, though when the intention is to take the town by 
assault, not to reduce it by famine, the retention of the 
civil population within the town means the infliction 
of much unnecessary suffering. The Japanese gave per- 
mission to the civilian population to leave Port Arthur 
before the bombardment, but throughout the Franco - 
German War, except when Greneral von Werder granted 
a short armistice for some Swiss delegates to remove 
2,000 homeless women and children from Strasburg, the 
Germans observed the full rigour of their war rights, 
The Americans before bombarding Santiago de Cuba in 
June 1898, gave forty-eight hours' notice and allowed the 
^ United States 'Instructions', Article 18. 



exit of non-combatants. In the siege of Ladysmith, 
although non-combatants were not allowed to leave, 
an arrangement was made whereby they were placed in 
a camp outside the zone of fire, but they remained 
dependent for their supplies on the defenders of the 
besieged town. This subject, like so many connected 
with war, is one in which it is most difficult to 
harmonize military necessities and the dictates of 

It is, however, as a rule, only a smaU proportion of 
the civilian population that is thus exposed to the 
danger of death or injury by direct military operations, 
but when a district is occupied by the invading army 
every inhabitant feels the pressure of war. The object 
of the invader, apart from winning victories over his 
adversary's troops, is to make his superiority felt by 
the whole population of the enemy State, and when the 
troops of the defenders have been expelled from a given 
area, and the territory is actually placed under the 
authority of the hostile army, an important legal change 
in the relation between the invader and the invaded 
takes place, as such territory is then said to be in the 
enemy's military occupation. 

Until the middle of the eighteenth century, the in- 
vader treated the territory of his enemy as his own, 
but gradually the distinction between conquest and 
military occupancy was worked out, and by the end of 
the nineteenth century a series of rules was accepted 
and embodied in the Hague Regulations of 1899 and 
1907. ' Territory is considered to be occupied when 
it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile 
army. The occupation appHes only to the territories 
where such authority is established and can be exercised ' 
(Art. 42). It appears certain that under the Hague 


Regulations the practice pursued by the Germans in 1870 
of deeming a whole canton of seventy-two square miles to 
be occupied if a patrol or small detachment passed through 
without resistance, can no longer be justified. ' Occu- 
pation on land is strictly analogous to blockade at sea ; 
and as blockades are not recognized unless they are 
effective, so occupation must rest on the effective con- 
trol.' 1 Practically occupation amounts to this, that 
the territorial Government can no longer exercise its 
authority within the area of invasion, and the invader 
can set up his own governmental organization, or con- 
tinue in office those of the expelled Government who 
are willing to serve. Recent wars provide us with 
examples of the working of the modern rules governing 
belligerent occupation which are contained in Articles 
42-56 of the Hague Regulations. 

The authority of the legitimate sovereign having been 
displaced, the occupant must take all steps in his power 
to re-establish and ensure public order and safety, 
while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws 
in force in the country. A combination of severity 
and conciliation is required which will at the same 
time allow the peaceful citizen to continue the pursuit 
of his ordinary avocation, so far as possible, while the 
occupant's position is not endangered. Order is to be 
maintained, and existing laws enforced as far as cir- 
cumstances permit. A military administration is in 
practice at once set up. The occupant issues notices 
prohibiting and punishing Avith severity all offences 
against the army of occupation, and every act which 
may endanger the security of his troops. (I have 
already referred to the severity with which risings in 
occupied districts are always dealt.) The commander 
^ T. J. Lawrence, International Law, p. 433. 


orders all arms and ammunition of every description 
to be given up, closes the public -houses either wholly 
or partially, forbids the assembly of groups of men in 
the street, requires all shutters to be removed from 
shops, orders all lights to be put out by a certain time, 
establishes a censorship on all letters, suppresses or 
restricts the publication of newspapers, restricts indi- 
viduals in their freedom of movement, deports any 
whose presence he may consider dangerous to his army, 
and in a thousand different ways makes the ordinary 
citizen feel that the enemy is within his gates. The 
following Proclamation issued by Greneral von Kummer 
at Metz on October 30, 1870, gives in a few sentences 
an example of the powers of an occupant : 

' If I encoimter disobedience or resistance, I shall 
act with all severity and according to the laws of war. 
Whoever shall place in danger the Glerman troops, or 
shall cause prejudice by perfidy, will be brought before 
a comicil of war ; whoever shall act as a spy to the 
French troops or shall lodge or give them assistance ; 
whoever shows the road to the French troops volun- 
tarily : whoever shall kill or wound the German troops 
or the persons belonging to their suite ; whoever shall 
destroy the canals, railways, or telegraph wires ; who- 
ever shall render the roads impracticable ; whoever 
shall burn munitions and provisions of war ; and lastly, 
whoever shall take up arms against the Grerman troops, 
will be punished by death. It is also declared that 
(1) all houses in which or from out of which any one 
commits acts of hostilities towards the German troops 
will be used as barracks ; (2) not more than ten persons 
shall be allowed to assemble in the streets or pubHc 
houses ; (3) the inhabitants must deliver up all arms 
by 4 o'clock on Monday, October 31, at the Palais, rue 


de la Princesse ; (4) all windows are to be lighted up 
during the night in case of alarm.' ^ 

The conversion into barracks of houses in which or 
out of which acts of hostilities had been committed 
was less severe than the treatment authorized by the 
British generals during the Boer War. Lord Roberts 
ordered the burning of farms for acts of treachery or 
when troops had been fired on from farm premises, 
and as a punishment for breaking up telegraph or rail- 
way lines or when they had been used as bases of opera- 
tions for raids. 2 

The rules issued by the occupant are rules of Martial 
Law, and proceedings to enforce them are generally 
taken before a military tribunal. There is, I believe, 
a considerable misapprehension as to the meaning of 
Martial Law, not only among military officers but also 
among civilians. Martial Law might perhaps be more 
accurately called ' Military rule ', or the ' Law of hostile 
occupation ', as General Davis suggests.^ It was de- 
scribed by the Duke of Wellington as ' neither more 
nor less than the will of the general who commands 
the army. Li fact. Martial Law means no law at all. 
Therefore the general who declares Martial Law, and 
commands that it shall be carried into execution, is 
bound to lay down distinctly the rules, and regulations, 
and limits according to which his will is to be carried 
out.' It is not, therefore, a secret written code of law 
which a commander produces from his pocket and 
declares to be the laws under which an occupied terri- 

^ H. M. Hozier, Franco-Prussian War, vol. ii, p. 124, cited by 
J. M. Spaight, op. cit., p. 338. 

^ Parliamentary Papers, 1900. Proclamations of F.-M. Lord 
Roberts (Cd. 426), p. 23. 

' Elements of International Law (3rd ed.), p. 333. 


tory is to be governed. Martial Law in a hostile country 
consists of the suspension of the ordinary rules of law 
in so far as such suspension is called for by military 
necessities, and the substitution of military rule and 
force for the ordinary laws either in whole or in part.^ 

The occupant is forbidden to place any compulsion 
on the inhabitants of occupied territory to take the 
oath of allegiance to him (H. R. Art. 45), but he may 
compel them to take an oath of neutrality, though even 
without this the inhabitants are under a duty of remain- 
ing neutral, and they forfeit their rights as non-com- 
batants by any intermeddling in the war. The occupant 
must see that the family honour and rights, the lives 
of individuals and private property, as well as religious 
conviction and liberty of worship, are respected ; but 
liberty of worship does not mean liberty to preach 
sermons inciting to continued warfare or hostility to 
the occupant. Many churches were closed by British 
oificers during the Boer War in consequence of the 
poUtical character of the sermons preached therein. 
Private property cannot be confiscated (Art. 46). The 
occupant may, however, find it necessary to make use 
of churches or schools as hospitals, and we shall shortly 
see that, though private property must not be confis- 
cated, the occupant has a large licence in the matters 
of supplying his troops with all things needful for them. 
He may not confiscate, but he may commandeer. The 
occupant is also forbidden to interfere with the existing 
private rights of citizens of the occupied territory, for 

^ For examples of Proclamations of Martial Law during the Boer 
War see Parliamentary Papers, 1900 (Cd. 426), also chap, xi of 
Dr. Spaight's War Rights on Land. For a fuller treatment of Martial 
Law in relation to English law see A. V. Dicey, The Law o/ the Con- 
stitution, chap. viii. 


he must not declare to be extinguished, suspended, or 
unenforceable in a court of law the rights and rights 
of action of the subject of the enemy State (Art. 23 (h)). 
There is some doubt as to the meaning of this prohibi- 
tion, but this is the view which it is understood that 
the British Government takes as to its interpretation.^ 
The services of the inhabitants of the occupied terri- 
tories may be requisitioned by the occupant, if they 
are of such a nature as not to involve them directly in 
taking part in military operations against their own 
country (Art. 52). The interpretation which com- 
manders put on this limiting clause is a lax one, but 
professional men, tradesmen, and artisans, for example 
medical men, chemists, engineers, electricians, butchers, 
bakers, smiths, &c., &c., may find that their services are 
demanded by the commanding officer in the locality. 
Some authorities hold that the occupant may resort 
to forced labour for the repair of roads, railways, and 
bridges, as such are required to restore the general con- 
dition of the country, even though their repair should 
mean a considerable strategic advantage to the troops 
of the occupying army. The belligerent is also for- 
bidden, both in mioccupied and occupied districts, to 
compel the subjects of the other belligerent to take part 
in operations of war directed against their own country 
(Art. 23, last paragraph), and an occupant is also for- 
bidden to compel the population of occupied territory 
to furnish information about his own country's army, 
or about its means of defence (Art. 44). The discus- 
sions on these articles at the Hague in 1907 make it 
clear in my opinion that these provisions forbid the 

^ On the meaning of this Article see Hague Peace ConferenceSt 
pp. 263-5 ; T. J. Lawrence, op. cit., pp. 358-60 ; T. E. Holland, Law 
Quarterly Review, vol. xxviii (Jan., 1912), pp. 94-8. 



impressment of persons to act as guides for the invading 
troops, and this view is supported by the Report made 
by the French Delegation to their Government. But 
all the Powers do not accept this latter Article. Austria, 
Germany, Japan, and Russia excluded it, on signing 
the Convention, but even so I think the practice is 
condemned in Article 23. However, it is by no means 
improbable that some of these Powers, by making a 
reservation of Article 44, did so in order to adhere to 
the practice, which has long obtained, of compelling 
inhabitants to act as guides to the invader's troops. 
This practice, and that of compelling men imder threat 
of death to give information of military value, appear 
to me contrary to the whole spirit of the modern 
development of the laws of war ; they are odious, and 
should disappear from all the military manuals of 
civilized States.^ 

We thus see that there are many cases in which the 
personal services of ordinary private citizens may be 
requisitioned in occupied territory ; their property is 
also liable to be requisitioned for the use of the occupy- 
ing army. In addition to the payment of the ordinary 
taxes which the invader may levy for the benefit of the 
occupied district, the inhabitants may also be called 
upon to pay contributions in money in lieu of requi- 
sitions in kind. There are no less than three different 
Articles in the Hague Regulations which either prohibit 
pillage or forbid the confiscation of private property, 
but military necessities, though not over-ruling the 
strict letter of the prohibition, often bring about a situa- 
tion which make these prohibitions sound unreal. Still 
they are exceptions, and the rule holds good. We have 

' For discussions of these Articles see Hague Peace Conferences, 
pp. 265-8. 


already seen that the actual destruction of private 
dwelling-houses and other buildings in private owner- 
ship may be occasioned by bombardment or other 
operations of war. But, in addition to destruction or 
damage caused by these means, the landowner may be 
deprived of the use of his land for camps, for fortifica- 
tions, for entrenchments, or for the burial of the dead. 
Commanding officers in actual warfare do not ask per- 
mission of landowners to make use of the land as battle- 
fields, and promise not to damage the crops or disturb 
the game ; nor will the objection by fashionable watering- 
places, that military manoeuvres interfere with summer 
visitors, receive any attention from the commander of 
an invading army. Houses, fences, woods are all liable 
to be demolished to provide materials for fortifications 
or to prevent the enemy from making use of them as 
cover, and landowners may never get any compen- 
sation where such destruction takes place as an opera- 
tion of war. Further, private citizens are liable to have 
troops billeted on them or sick or wounded placed in 
their houses. In connexion with the requisitioning of 
the services of inhabitants to assist in the care of the 
sick and wounded, I may draw attention to the fact 
that the Geneva Conventions make no provision for the 
non-combatant inhabitants in districts where hostilities 
are in progress. ' These unfortunates frequently suffer 
severely from sickness and wounds in consequence of 
the military operations, and their case is then particu- 
larly distressing because they are generally without 
medical personnel or material for their proper treat- 
ment.' ^ 

Then as regards the personal property of the ordinary 

^ W. G. Macpherson, 'The Geneva Convention', Zeitschrift fur 
Vclkerrecht und BundesstaatsrecM, vol. v, p. 260. 


citizens, everything belonging to them which may be 
of direct use in war, such as guns, ammunition and all 
kinds of war-material, are always taken from the inhabi- 
tants, and particularly heavy penalties are always in- 
flicted for the concealment of arms. All appliances, 
whether on land, at sea, or in the air, adapted for the 
transmission of news or for the transport of persons or 
goods, apart from cases governed by maritime law, may 
be seized even though belonging to private persons, 
but they are to be restored and indemnities regulated 
at the peace (Art. 53). Restoration will in a vast num- 
ber of cases be an impossibility, and the compensation 
may be but a poor substitute for the thing taken. 
Money is but a poor compensation to a farmer if all 
his horses are requisitioned. This article therefore 
authorizes the seizure of all kinds of transport : horses, 
motor-cars, motor-boats, carts, bicycles, carriages, tram- 
cars, balloons, aeroplanes, river pleasure -steamers, canal- 
barges, and so forth — all may be seized by the occupant, 
as well as depots of arms and all kinds of war material, 
from the farmer's sporting rifle to the contents of the 
Elswick, Krupp or Creusot armament works. In all these 
cases the persons from whom articles are taken should 
obtain receipts, so that they may have evidence on which 
to base their claims for compensation when the war is 
over. But besides all these articles, which are from 
their nature of direct use in war, the commander of an 
occupied locality can order the inhabitants to provide 
everjrthing necessary for the needs of his army, such 
as food, wines, tobacco, fuel, cloth, leather, stirrups, 
chains for horses and artillery and transport-wagons, 
&c., &c. Such requisitions are to be paid for as far as 
possible in ready money, and the price may be fixed by 
the commander, or if payment is not made he must give 



receipts for whatever he takes (Art. 52). In this way 
the occupant may make the inhabitants of the occu- 
pied district contribute to the maintenance and upkeep 
of his army. The requisitions must be proportionate 
to the resources of the country, which means that the 
inhabitants are not to be left in a starving condition. 
In practice such requisitions are levied through the 
civil authorities, who will make representations if they 
consider the demands exorbitant ; usually in modem 
warfare the attitude of commanders has been commend- 
ably reasonable. It is good policy.^ 

It may often happen that a particular district does 
not possess the actual requirement of the army, whereas 
another does. In such cases the Commander-in-Chief 
levies contributions in money as far as possible in 
accordance with the assessments for ordinary taxes ; 
the money thus raised from the whole district can be 
spent in that part which possesses the required article, 
and in this way the expense is spread over a wider area. 
Such contributions can only be levied for military 
necessities or for the administration of the territory 
(Art. 49) ; the occupant is therefore forbidden to exact 
money payments for the purpose of enriching his own 
treasury, but he is not forbidden to levy money pay- 
ments by way of punishment of breaches of the laws 
of war. 

It is impossible in the space of a single lecture to show 
in further detail the various ways in which pressure 
may be brought to bear in almost every direction on 
the ordinary civil population of an occupied or invaded 
district. I can say nothing of the hostages the invader 
may take to ensure the observance of the laws he has 
enacted, or of the fines he may impose, the destruction 
* See J. M. Spaight, op. cit., 405. 



of buildings he may order, or the other punishments he 
may inflict for the infringement of his regulations or 
by way of reprisals ; all these matters are writ large 
on the pages of the histories of recent wars. 

Neither can I speak of the treatment which public 
property wiU receive at the hands of the invader, except 
to lay down the general principle that as regards the 
State property in land and buildings of a non-military 
character, the occupant must regard himself as being 
an administrator and usufructuary; that is, the pro- 
perty must be used with care so that its substance 
remains uninjured. Similarly, property belonging to 
municipal bodies and all public buildings devoted to 
religion, education, charity, art, science, and the like 
are to be treated as private property, and so must the 
moveable property of the State and provincial and 
municipal corporations except where, it is of a character 
to be of use in war. Royal palaces, picture galleries, 
public libraries, museums and their contents would 
therefore be exempt from confiscation or injury. These 
subjects are, however, outside the scope of our inquiry. 
We are concerned with the private citizen. 

I have now endeavoured to give some idea of the 
manner in which war affects the private citizen both as 
regards his person and property, and we are led to the 
conclusion that Lord Brougham's dictum that ' in the 
enlightened policy of modem times, war is not the 
concern of individuals but of governments ' is very far 
from representing the whole truth. Much has been 
done during the past century to mitigate the horrors 
of war, particularly as regards the treatment of sick 
and woimded belonging to the belligerent forces, espe- 
cially by the Geneva Convention of 1906, which for the 
first time gives an international recognition to the work 


of Red Cross Societies, provided they are under due 
control : the lot of the private citizen has also been 
ameliorated by the acceptance of a code of laws for 
land warfare, by the introduction of the practice of 
payment for goods requisitioned for the hostile army, 
the prohibition of pillage and the definite recognition 
by States of the duty to provide for the protection of 
family life and honour and by the increasing influence 
of the public opinion of neutral States. But when all 
these ameliorations are taken into consideration, it 
remains evident that both in naval and land warfare 
the private citizen is still subject to great dangers and 
losses. Forced labour may be requisitioned, private 
property of every description can be commandeered 
for the use of the invading army, foodstuffs of all sorts 
compulsorily purchased, and several of the most power- 
ful military States Mill insist on retaining the right — 
one of the most objectionable of the usages of war — 
of forcing non-combatant individuals to act as guides 
to the army of invasion. 

We may speak of the ameliorations of the lot of the 
private citizen which have resulted from the growing 
sentiment of humanity, we may congratulate ourselves 
on the legal limitations imposed on commanders by 
International Law, but when all is said, and every legal 
rule obeyed, can a stem and successful commander be 
prevented from bringing psychological pressure to bear 
on the civil population by carrying out the war-policy 
advocated by General Sherman in the following pas- 
sage ? — ' The proper strategy consists in the first place 
in inflicting as telling blows as possible on the enemy's 
army, and then in causing the inhabitants so much 
suffering that they must long for peace and force their 
governors to demand it. The people must be left 



nothing but their eyes to weep with over the war.' 
' War means fighting ' — but it means much more. It 
involves starvation and untold miseries to men, women, 
and children who take no part in battles. 




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Others in preparation. 


'..^^.i^vi ocwi. MAT 2 5 1967 

B Davis, H W C 

530 The battle of 

D38 Ypres-Armentieres